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Bala Mohammed, former FCT minister, sent to Kuje prison

*Under heavy police security guarding the road to the court

Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bala Mohammed, has been remanded in Kuje maximum prison. Presiding judge, Justice Abubakar Talba gave the order to remand Mohammed at the Kuje Prison.

This was sequel to the order given by the High Court of the FCT on Wednesday in Abuja.

The former Minister was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on six-count charges bordering on abuse of office when he superintended over the affairs of the FCT.

Mohammed was arraigned on six counts of fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He is alleged to have laundered the sum of N550 million, while in office as minister. But the minister pleaded not guilty to the charges, setting the stage for a trial.

The EFCC also alleged that he abused his office while he was a minister. Justice Talba adjourned the case till 12th May for ruling on the application for bail. By this, it means he will be spending two days in prison pending the review of his bail.

Bala Mohammed’s son, Shamsudeen is also facing corruption charges after the EFCC accused him of laundering N1.2 billion.

The younger Bala Mohammed is facing a 15-count charge alongside four companies – Bird Trust Agro Allied Limited, Intertrans Global Logistic Ltd, Diakin Telecommunications Ltd and Bal-Vac Mining Nigeria Ltd.

The road leading to the court was under severe police presence. It was cordoned off from the major road. Nine lorry load of heavily armed policemen were made to watch over the premises of the court.

The allegations: According to the EFCC, the ex-minister accepted N550 million in gratification from the Aso Savings and Loans Ltd, in respect of house 2599 and 2600 Cadastral Zone AO4, Asokoro, Abuja sometime in 2014.

The EFCC said on 24th October, 2016 he lied to Detective Ishaya Daudu of the Economic Governance Section of the commission, while making a statement that the house was acquired through the bank’s mortgage loan.

The ex-minister was also alleged to have on 24th October, 2016 failed to make full disclosure in an EFCC asset declaration form about property No 54 Mike Akhigbe Street, Jabi Abuja and declared “property at Angwan Sarki, Kaduna State as undeveloped plot whereas it is a fully built house.”

EFCC also alleged that the ex-minister falsely claimed in his asset declaration form that the property: CITEC Kwara House 5 A9 Street, Mbora, Abuja FCT belonging to one Abubakar Abdu Mohammed was his.

He was also alleged to have used his position as chairman Board of Aso Savings to confer corrupt and undue advantage to himself, by allocating four numbers fully detached duplexes and 11 numbers semi-detached duplexes valued at N314 million only through the Presidential Taskforce on Sale of Governments Houses.

The offences are contrary to sections 18 (b), 19 of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act, 2000; sections 27 (3) (a) and 39 of the EFCC Establishment Act, 2004.

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