N1.2bn fraud: Bauchi gov’s son knows fate December 13

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The Federal High Court, Abuja, has fixed December 13 to rule on the no-case submission filed by Shamsudeen Mohammed, son of Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State.

Mr Mohammed faces a 15-count charge on allegations of conspiracy, money laundering and forgery, brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

At the resumed hearing on Monday, counsel to Mr Mohammed, Chris Uche, prayed for no-case submission on the ground that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against his client.

Mr Uche told the court that his team had categorised the charges against his client into conspiracy, cash transactions and forgery.

He said the prosecution has failed to place any evidence before the court to prove these allegations.

“On the allegation that the first defendant (Mohammed) bought property with cash above the stipulated financial threshold, there is no single evidence to back this claim.

“All the persons to whom the cash transactions were made; not one of them was called as a witness to say that the first defendant gave him cash.

“On the allegation of forgery, not a single original document was brought to court for the court to compare and conclude that there was a case of forgery,” he submitted.

Mr Uche argued that the entire case was one of transferred aggression, adding that it was based on a cocktail of speculations.

Counsel to the 3rd, 4th and 5th defendants told the court they had filed no-case-submissions and prayed the court to discountenance the charges against their clients, who were all companies.

Responding, the prosecuting counsel, Wahab Shittu, told the court that he had filed an 84-page response challenging the no-case submission.

He told the court that the prosecution had provided enough evidence as exhibits to show that Mr Mohammed made cash transactions above the required financial threshold.

Mr Shittu said some of the exhibits were receipts obtained from those who received the cash payment.

“My lord, we are not talking about the transactions made through the bank; it is the N80 million, N110 million and N219 million cash payments we are interested in.

“From the confessional extra-judicial statement of the defendant, he admitted that he brought the cash of N80 million himself,” he said.

The lawyer prayed the court to hold that Mr Mohammed had a case to answer and that he should enter his defence.

Mr Mohammed is facing trial alongside four firms, Bird Trust Agro Allied Ltd., Intertrans Global Logistics Ltd., Diakin Telecommunications Ltd. and Bal-Vac Mining Ltd.

The EFCC alleged that Mr Mohammed used the four companies to launder the money listed in the charge.

The anti-graft agency alleged that Mr Mohammed resorted to the acquisition of houses within highbrow areas in Abuja, which he paid for in cash, to conceal stolen funds at his disposal.

The assets are five plots of land at Asokoro Gardens; House FS 2 B, Green Acre Estate Apo-Dutse, Abuja and House FS 1A, Green Acre Estate, Apo-Dutse.

Others are FS 1B, Green Acre Estate, Apo-Dutse, Abuja and House 2A, No. 7, Gana Street, Maitama, Abuja.

The EFCC said Mr Mohammed paid for the assets over the statutory limit and without recourse to any financial institution.

The trial judge, Nnamdi Dimgba, adjourned the matter to December 13 to rule on whether Mr Mohammed and his co-defendants had a case to answer.

(NAN)

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