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Court frees Bauchi governor’s son on fraud charges

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Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, discharged and acquitted Shamsudeen, the son of the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, on fraud charges.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) initially arraigned the governor’s son alongside four companies on a 15-count charge of conspiracy and willful wealth concealment in November 2016.

The other defendants are – Bird Trust Agro Allied Limited, Bal-Vac Mining Nigeria Limited, Intertrans Global Logistics Limited, and Diakin Telecommunications Limited.

The charge was later amended to 20 counts.

The defendants’ no-case submission was upheld by the court on December 14, 2021, and they were acquitted on charges 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 20.

The judge, thereafter, ordered Shamsudeen to enter his defense on the remaining counts.

The EFCC brought up three main issues in the charge.

The defendant, according to the commission, failed to list the currencies – naira, the pound sterling, the euro, and the dollar found in his bank accounts with Standard Chartered Bank in the asset declaration form with the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

READ ALSO: EFCC invites Bauchi governor’s aide over alleged vote-buying

The EFCC further claimed that the defendant used fake documents to deal with some property or caused some falsified documents to be utilized in dealing with firms and individuals.

In his defence, Shamusideen argued that he was in shock when the EFCC visited his home in June 2016.

In his ruling, the judge held that the prosecution failed to prove its case against the defendant.

He said: “The prosecution could have led evidence to show that the transaction alerts were being received by the defendant and no one else up until the very period on 9/06/16 that he completed Exhibit SB3(1-25), and perhaps even soon thereafter.

“This includes evidence of the phone number and or email address on which alerts on those transactions that the prosecution set out elaborately and meticulously in their written address were actually being received.

“Because if these transaction alerts were actually being received in phone numbers or email addresses under the physical control of the defendant, it will be difficult for the defendant to convince the court that he omitted those accounts because of forgetfulness occasioned by shock and state of the disarray caused by his abrupt and sudden apprehension by the EFCC.”

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