The word forgery is defined as an act of fraudulent making a false document or altering a real one to be used as if genuine. However, in ATUCHUKWU V. ADINDU (2011) LPELR – 3821 (CA), OGUNWUMIJU, JCA (as he then was) drew a distinction between grammatical and criminal forgery and held that the mere speculative observation of the respondent and her witness given flesh by the reasoning of the trial Judge cannot be substituted for conclusive and hard evidence of criminal forgery which must be proved beyond reasonable doubt. Thus, the case put forward before the trial Court deserved to be meticulously and reflectively analyzed in order to determine whether such a party has set out to establish the commission of a crime by anybody as would impose on him the necessity to establish a case of forgery beyond reasonable doubt. Now, looking at the circumstances of this case, it was not the case of the 1st and 2nd respondents that any named person had forged Exhibit 1. An examination of paragraph 4 of the statement of defence of 1st and 2nd defendants as well as paragraph 4 of the statement of oath of Chief Elias Ezenagu who testified as DW2 vis-a-vis Section 138 of the Evidence Act shows that the allegation of forgery was not made specifically to a party or against a party. Therefore, the case made by the 1st and 2nd respondents is not one of criminal forgery but that Exhibit 1 was a useless document on account that same was neither signed by the mortgagor nor the mortgagee.
— M.L. Shuaibu, JCA. FBN v Benlion (2021) – CA/C/31/2016