Alleged N1.2bn Fraud: Court Grants Former FCT Minister’s Son N100m Bail

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of
the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja on Friday, February 3,
2017 granted Shamsudeen Bala, son of a former minister of the Federal
Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed, bail in the sum of N100million
with two sureties who must be private businessmen or public servants of
the rank of assistant director and above. The sureties must have landed
properties in Abuja or within Lagos metropolis excluding satellite
towns. The defendant must produce three years tax clearance and must not
travel without the consent of the court. However, the defendant is to
remain in Kuje prison pending the perfection of his bail terms.
 
Bala
is being prosecuted on a 15-count charge of money laundering to the
tune of N1.2 billion by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,
EFCC.
  
The
accused was docked on Wednesday February 1, 2017, along with four
companies – Bird Trust Agro Allied Limited, Intertrans Global Logistic
Limited, Diakin Telecommunications Limited and Bal-Vac Mining Nigeria
Limited.
Bala
and Diakin Telecommunications Limited are accused of making cash
payment of the sum of N74, 244,005 (seventy-four million, two hundred
and forty-four thousand, five naira) to Abuja Investment Company Ltd
without going through a Financial Institution. The offence is in breach
of Section 1 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended
in 2012).

On arraignment, he pleaded not guilty to the charge.
One of the counts reads:
“That
you, Shamsudeen Bala (alias Shamsudeen Mohammed Bala), Bird Trust Agro
Allied Ltd and Intertrans Global Logistics Ltd sometime in 2015 in Abuja
within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did without going
through a Financial Institution make cash payment of the sum of
N296,000,000 (two hundred and ninety six million naira) only to A & K
Constructions Ltd Abuja and Sunrise Estate Development Ltd for
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 in 2012 and punishable
under Section 16(2)(b) and (4) of the same Act”.  
The trial is to commence on March 27, 2017.
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