My family needs access to clothes, shoes | Ex-minister Bala Mohammed tells court

Former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed has asked a High Court In Abuja to allow him access to his house in the FCT.

Mohammed in an application on Tuesday said he and other members of his family needed to retrieve some personal belongings from the house.

He listed them as 35 pieces of babariga (caftan), 15 bottles of perfume, 50 sets of leather handbags, 65 pairs of shoes, over 35 boxes of clothes, bed sheets, kitchen utensils and a BMW car.

Mohammed said the six-room duplex before it was sealed by the EFCC in May 2016, was home for him, his family and domestic aides.

A domestic aide to the ex-minister, Umar Usman said the “sealing off” of the property was impromptu, and as a result, the family members moved to a guest house “and have been surviving on few personal effects they had to purchase out of desperation” in an affidavit.

Usman stated, “That there are numerous items belonging to the family members trapped in the property, which, if not recovered, would be lost and constitute a huge economic loss to the respective owners.

“That further to that, the personal effects of the defendant/applicant’s children namely: Fatima Bala Mohammed, Hauwa Bala Mohammed and Maimuna Bala Mohammed, are trapped in the property.

“That numerous gifts secured by the defendant/applicant’s wife, Mrs. Lami Bala Mohammed, in respect of her charity/humanitarian works, meant for distribution to the less-privileged during this Ramadan period are currently trapped in the property.”

The affidavit also stated that “none of the personal properties of the defendant/applicant” was connected with the charges preferred against the ex-minister and the proof of evidence.

“That the defendant/applicant and his family have been suffering a lot of hardships as a result of the deprivation,” it added.

His lawyer, Frank Molokwu prayed for “an order granting the defendant/applicant and his family members entry to his premises located at No. 1, Mukhtar Street, Asokoro, Abuja, currently sealed off by the EFCC, in order to retrieve his personal effects and those of other members of his family.”

Justice Talba therefore fixed Thursday for the hearing of the motion seeking the retrieval of Mohammed’s personal effects from the sealed house.

The EFCC is prosecuting Mohammed on six counts  of  abuse of office, receiving of gratification and making false assets declaration of some of his properties.

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