Ex-FCT minister’s son paid N1.1bn for Abuja properties | Witness tells court

A witness on Thursday narrated how Shamsudeen Bala-Mohammed, a son of a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed involved in N1.1bn fraud.

Background:

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Shamsudeen and four other companies on amended 15 counts of money laundering and false declaration of assets involving the sum of N1,105,719,005.

He was said to have paid huge sums of money beyond the limit set by the Money Laundering Act for the purchase of houses in Abuja.

The commission also accused Shamsudeen of failing to declare his assets when he completed the EFCC Asset Declaration Form A in 2015.

What happened in court:

At the resumed trial on Thursday, an EFCC detective, Ishaya Dauda was led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Ben Ikani.

Dauda narrated how Shamsudeen allegedly paid a cumulative sum of N1.1bn to buy different properties in different parts of Abuja.

He said his offences were discovered while the EFCC was investigating his father.

The witness also revealed how the sums of N580,000 and $60,000 were recovered from Shamsudeen’s residence during execution of a search warrant.

“Our investigation was extended to Abuja Investments Development Company, where the General Manager, Dr. Musa Musa, and the company secretary, Salisu Abdusalam, were invited to our office.

“Their statements were taken concerning the purchase of properties by the defendant using Diakin Telecommunications Ltd., and Balbac Minning Nigeria Ltd., which they confirmed.

“They said he brought cash to their office. He bought the properties from the Abuja Development Investments Company. The properties are located in Apo Area of Abuja.

“Another property that was purchased by the defendant is at 7, Gana Street, Maitama, Abuja.  He brought cash in company with a lady by name, Maimuna Aliyu Sanda.

“Together they took this cash to the developer, by name, Farouk Saleh. The cash was in dollars, they told me. But the worth of the property was N210m.

“Another property was purchased at Sunrise Hill, Asokoro. The defendant made lodgment of N80m to the then managing director of the company. The MD, Sami Apougaoude, a Lebanese is late now. Then the defendant contacted a company, K & K Construction Company, to build the said property.

“He again made a cash lodgment of N100m to Sunrise Hill in error which was then transferred to K &K Construction Company into their Zenith Bank account. He then made a cash lodgment of N110m to K& K directly.

“Again, he made a lodgment of N200m to K&K Construction Company.

“All these lodgments were made in the name of the Birtrus Agro Allied Limited.

“The last time he made lodgment to K & K Construction company was N296m.”

Justice Dimgba adjourned until December 11 for cross-examination of the first prosecution witness.

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