Home / Featured / Bala Mohammed, former FCT minister’s son, paid N1b cash for land, four houses – EFCC 

Bala Mohammed, former FCT minister’s son, paid N1b cash for land, four houses – EFCC 

*His age mates are unemployed, yet he has never worked anywhere

Shamsudeen Bala, the son of a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bala, was alleged to have paid about N1billion cash for plots of land and houses, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has concluded plans to arraign him before Justice N. Dimgba.

Shamsudeen, whose age mates and classmates are still in the labour market unemployed, will be arraigned in court alongside four others— Bird Trust Agro Allied Ltd, Intertrans Global Logistics Limited, Diakin Telecommunications Limited and Bal-Vac Mining Limited.

The five persons are facing 15 charges at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The EFCC noted that Mohammed, paid cash for five plots of land and four properties in highbrow areas of Abuja to avoid any suspicion by banks and other monitoring agencies.

The purchases 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.

The anti-graft agency is accusing Shamsudeen of money laundering for allegedly making cash payment for choice houses in excess of the statutory limit without going through a financial institution. He was supposed to have been taken before court last Wednesday in Abuja.

Three of the duplexes traced to Shamsudeen have been seized in line with sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004, which empower the anti-graft agency to invoke Interim Assets Forfeiture Clause.

“Section 28 of the EFCC Act reads: ‘Where a person is arrested for an offence under this Act, the Commission shall immediately trace and attach all the assets and properties of the person acquired as a result of such economic or financial crime and shall thereafter cause to be obtained an interim attachment order from the Court.’

The EFCC gave details of how the plots of land and mansions were bought in the 15 charges against Shamsudeen and four others.

The charges read: “That you Shamsudeen Bala (alias Shamsudeen Mohammed Bala), Bird Trust Agro Allied Ltd, Intertrans Global Logistics Ltd, Diakin Telecommunications Ltd and Bal- Vac Mining Ltd sometime in 2015 in Abuja conspired amongst yourselves to make cash payment exceeding the statutory limit without going through a financial institution and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a), of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended by Act No. 1 of 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) and (4) of the same Act.

Shamsudeen and the others are said to have paid:

  • N80million cash to Sunrise Estate Development Ltd for the purchase of plot nos. 2116 and 2276 at Asokoro Gardens (alias Sunrise Estate) Abuja which sum exceeded the statutory limit and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) and (4) of the same Act;
  • N100million cash to Sunrise Estate Development Ltd for the purchase of plot nos. 2116 and 2276 at Asokoro Gardens (alias Sunrise Estate) Abuja which sum exceeded the statutory limit and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as (amended by Act No. 1 of 2012) and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) and (4) of the same Act;
  • N110,000,000.00 cash to A & K Construction Ltd, Abuja and Sunrise Estate Development Ltd for the purchase of plot nos. 2116 and 2276 at Asokoro Gardens, which sum exceeded the statutory limit and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as (amended by Act No. 1 of 2012) and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) and (4) of the same Act;
  • N200,000,000.00 cash to A & K Construction Ltd Abuja and Sunrise Estate Development Ltd for the purchase of plot nos. 2116 and 2276 at Asokoro Gardens, which sum exceeded the statutory limit and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended by Act No. 1 of 2012 and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) and (4) of the same Act.
  • N296,000,000.00 cash to A & K Construction Ltd Abuja for the construction of a house on plot nos. 2116 and 2276 at Asokoro Gardens (alias Sunrise Estate), Abuja which sum exceeded the statutory limit and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended by Act No. 1 of 2012) and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) and (4) of the same Act;
  • N45,475,000.00 only to Abuja Investment Company Ltd as part payment for the purchase of House FS 2 B Green Acre Estate Apo- Dutse Abuja;
  • N74,244,005.00 cash to Abuja Investment Company Ltd as part payment for purchase of House FS 1A Green Acre Estate Apo-Dutse Abuja;
  • N74, 244,005.00 only to Abuja Investment Company Limited as part payment for purchase of FS 1B Green Acre Estate Apo-Dutse, Abuja; and paid
  • N200million cash to Faruk Saleh at Abuja for House 2A, No. 7 Gana Street, Maitama Abuja;

Shamsudeen Bala (alias Shamsuden Mohammed Bala) is accused of failing in June 2016 to make full declaration of his assets to wit: your accounts domiciled at Standard Chartered Bank Plc when he completed the EFCC Asset Declaration Form A, contrary Section 27(1) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004 and punishable under Section 27(3) of the same Act.

Bala Mohammed…also facing some prosecution. Fidelity Bank is hooked on some of the crimes

It would be recalled that the former minister is also under investigation on alleged fictitious contracts of about N1billion, allocation of 12 choice plots worth billions of Naira and 37 other commercial plots of land worth about N8 billion to his suspected front named Tariq Hammoud as well as the controversial N1 trillion Abuja land swap.

More than 16 companies linked with the fictitious contracts awarded by Bala had been under surveillance and their owners are being grilled by EFCC operatives.
The anti-graft agency had quizzed Shamsudeen, Hammoud and top directors of the Federal Capital Territory administration, including Director in charge of Treasury, Ibrahim Bomoi; Land, Babayo Mainasara, and Abuja Geographical Information Service (AGIS), Ms Jamila Tangaza.

She has, however, been linked to N800 million questionable contracts to her personal firm apart from benefiting from plots of land from the ex-minister.

It was gathered that following preliminary findings, EFCC obtained an interim forfeiture order to confiscate a N650 million house at 1 and 3, Mariam Mukhtar Street, Asokoro.

The same forfeiture order was secured to seize the ex-minister’s son three duplexes costing about N222 million in the Apo Area of Abuja.

A top source in EFCC, who spoke in confidence, said: “We are probing the immediate past Minister of FCT on many allegations against him, including award of N1 billion fictitious contracts; abuse of office by allocating 12 choice plots to his son and 37 other commercial plots worth about N8 billion to Hammoud, who is suspected to be his front; land swap, among others.

“Some of the petitions against Bala Mohammed had been pending since 2013. Initial findings showed that the ex-minister used fictitious companies to award contracts worth N1 billion in FCT. In one instance, a man with three companies was allowed to bid for one slot.

“About 16 companies used for fictitious contracts are under investigation because they did not supply items credited to them. We have also uncovered how Bala allocated plots of land to his friends, business partners.

For examples, he allocated 12 plots of land to his son, Shamsudeen, and 37 commercial plots of land to his business front called Tariq Hammoud.

“Some of those quizzed so far confessed that Bala used unconventional methods in raking illicit funds and laundering same. Each time the ex-minister allocated a plot of land, he would find out the market value and ask you to pay half of the amount to him in cash.

“For instance if a plot of land was N2 billion, Bala would ask for N1 billion cash from the prospective buyer. He was smart in collecting cash.

“But the EFCC has traced allocation of 37 commercial plots to Hammoud and how N8billion was made from it. In fact, we saw a proposal by Tariq Hammoud to sell some of the plots.

 

 

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