Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Alleged N1.2bn fraud: Bala Mohammed’s son denies charges, makes no-case submission

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Rayyan Alhassan
https://dailynigerian.com/author/rayyan/
Rayyan Alhassan is a 30-year-old graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/RayyanAlhassan, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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Shamsudeen Bala Mohammed, son of a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, on Thursday, told the Federal High Court in Abuja that he has no case to answer in the15-count money laundering charge.

Mr Shamsudeen, through his lawyer, Chris Uche, SAN, told Justice Nnamdi Dimgba that the evidence of the prosecution against him was insufficient to prove the case.

“My lord, this matter was adjourned for defence, the prosecution having closed his case in the last adjournment.

“Having comprehensively reviewed the totality of all the evidence of witnesses called by the prosecution, we have decided to make a no-case submission.

“We seek the leave of the court to file a no-case submission and serve same on the prosecution and for us to, if possible, adopt same on the adjourned date,” he said.

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Justice Dimgba adjourned the matter until April 26 for the hearing of the no-case submission.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Shamsudeen was, on May 30, 2017, rearranged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on 15-count money laundering charge.

The defendant, who was initially docked before the court on February 1, 2017, took fresh plea before Justice Dimgba.

Mr Shamsudeen, whose father is presently the Governor of Bauchi State, is facing trial alongside four firms; Bird Trust Agro Allied Ltd, Intertrans Global Logistics Ltd, Diakin Telecommunications Ltd and Bal-Vac Mining Ltd.

The EFCC alleged that the four companies were used to launder over N1.1 billion.

The agency alleged that the Shamsudeen, in a bid to conceal stolen funds at his disposal, resorted to acquisition of houses within the high-brow areas in Abuja.

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It told the court that Shamsudeen paid cash for five plots of land and four other choice property in Abuja.

Some of the assets traced to him include five plots of land at Asokoro Gardens; House FS 2 B, Green Acre Estate Apo-Dutse, Abuja; House FS 1A, Green Acre Estate, Apo-Dutse; FS 1B, Green Acre Estate, Apo-Dutse, Abuja and House 2A, No. 7, Gana Street, Maitama, Abuja.

According to the agency, the 1st defendant whose father, Bala Mohammed, is equally facing six-count criminal charge before an Abuja High Court, paid for the assets in excess of the statutory limit, without recourse to any financial institution.

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Aside allegation that he failed to declare his assets when he completed the EFCC Asset Declaration Form A, the ex-Minister’s son was further accused of concealing four accounts he operated with Standard Chartered Bank.

EFCC gave the said account numbers as 0001857597, 5001214708, 0000895037 and 000895020.

The agency had earlier seized some property it traced to the defendant and his father who is under investigation over an alleged fraudulent N1 trillion land swap deal that took place between 2010 and 2015 while he was in office as FCT Minister.

Meanwhile, Mr Shamsudeen pleaded not guilty to the amended charge dated May 25, 2017, even as his lawyer, Mr Uche, applied for continuation of the N100 million bail he had earlier secured from the court.

NAN

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