Politics

ALLEGED N1.1bn FRAUD: Ex-FCT Minister’s son gets N100m bail

ALLEGED N1.1bn FRAUD: Ex-FCT Minister’s son gets N100m bail

Shamsudeen Bala, son of ex-FCT Minister, Mohammed Bala, has finally secured a N100million bail in the case of an alleged N1.1billion fraud perpetrated by him.

The accused was on Wednesday remanded in prison at Kuje by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba after he had pleaded not guilty to a 15-count criminal charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) preferred against him.

EFCC, led by its lawyer, Ben Ikani, had opposed Bala’s application for bail on Wednesday on grounds that the defendant planned to escape from the country once out of detention. It also told the court that the ex-Minister’s son blatantly refused to surrender his international passport to the EFCC.

However, ruling on the application on Friday, Justice Dimgba said he was minded to grant the plea considering that allegations against the defendant are bailable offences.

The court stressed that the defendant must produce two reasonable sureties to enter into N50m bail bond each, even as it fixed March 27 and 28 for commencement of trial.

EFCC had on December 2, 2016 filed a 15-count charge involving alleged N1.1billion fraud against the former minister’s son.

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He was charged along with four other companies which are Bird Trust Argo Limited, Diakin Telecommunications Limited, Intertrans Global Logistics Limited and Bal-Vac Mining Nigeria Limited.

In the case which involved the sum of N1, 105,719,005, the EFCC is accusing the defendants of money laundering and falsification of assets.

The anti-graft agency is also alleging that the former minister’s son carried out business transactions amounting to billions of naira in violation of Money Laundering Act. It added that he paid various cash sums of money above the limit set by the Money Laundering Act for purchase of properties without going through a financial institution.

EFCC further accused him of not declaring his assets when he completed the EFCC Asset Declaration Form A and that he concealed four of his accounts domiciled at Standard Chartered Bank.

The commission gave the account numbers as 0001857597, 5001214708, 0000895037 and 000895020.

Shamsudeen arrived the Abuja court on Friday in hand-cuffs.

 

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