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.