CAC Alleges Theft of Public Documents by Lawyers
The Registrar General, Alhaji Garba Abubakar has accused lawyers of stealing documents from the commission during manual searches adding that this was why it resolved to eliminate physical contact, among other things, to safeguard the integrity of the records.
He stressed the allegations even as lawyers continue to stage protests on Monday at its head office to express their grievances over the decision of the commission to resort to mailing services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
He narrated that lawyers have been apprehended on so many occasions with stolen documents from the CAC, on the access they got through manual search.
According to him: “On so many occasions we have apprehended lawyers with documents that were stolen from this place. Particularly for companies under investigation or those that have a dispute among the shareholders.
“Only two weeks ago, a lawyer was apprehended forging signatures. His specialization is when documents are queried for irregular signatures, he signs again for the customers. Because sometimes a document might be presented and our staff will observe an inconsistency in the signature.
“You will be surprised that for a company that has its address somewhere in Ikorodu or far northeast, but within one hour, the same document will be returned to you, that it has been re-signed by the customer.
“So, we had information that this was being done in our vicinity and we had to organize an operation and two lawyers were apprehended.
“One specializes in signing the documents and the other took the documents to him to sign on behalf of her clients. So, they were taken to Force CID and we are making arrangements to arraign them in court”, he said.
He further stressed that there have been cases where whole files were removed from CAC, adding that the Commission has investigated and discovered that there is no registry in the world as of today that allows customers to handle its documents, and will be following suit.
Abubakar said: “No Registry around the world has physical contact with its customers. We have followed suit and have eliminated all manual searches. We will do a report and give it to the customers. It has become necessary to safeguard the integrity of the records we are keeping.
“A lawyer is supposed to have self-esteem and decorum but if you see what is happening at the CAC car park on a daily basis, you wonder whether you are dealing with Almajiris or lawyers.
“This has to end and we have to sanitize the system in a manner that everyone will get results without having to visit CAC”, he ended.
He revealed that the electronic system introduced will completely end manual search and safeguard documents.
By Kolawole Joseph