Bala Mohammed’s Son Re-arraigned on 15-count Charge

The Federal Government has re-arraigned Shamsudeen Bala, son of the immediate past Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed before a Federal High Court in Abuja on a 15 count charge bordering on money laundering.
At the resumed trial on Tuesday, the prosecuting lawyer, Ben Ikani, informed the trial Judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba about an amended charge dated May 25, 2017, filed on May 30, 2017 which was served on the defence on Tuesday morning in the court.
Shamsudeen was earlier arraigned on a 15-count charge bothering on conspiracy and intentional failure to declare his assets, but the amended charge according to Ikani was to specify the various sums of money in local and foreign currencies found in his account number 0000895020 domiciled with Standard Chartered bank.
On his part, the defendant’s counsel Chris Uche (SAN), however, told the court that he had just been served with a copy of the amended charge, lamenting that it was against the practice of the Federal High Court directives, for the prosecution to have just filed the amended charge after the matter had been adjourned over some months.
Uche therefore sought for an adjournment to enable his client study the amended charge.
Ikani however did not object to the application for adjournment.
The court, however, suggested that the suit be stood down to enable the defence to study the charge.
Thereafter, the amended charge was read to the defendant to which he pleaded not guilty after both parties agreed to have the plea taken.
The defence lawyer urged the court to allow the defendant to continue to enjoy the existing bail conditions earlier granted him by the court.
Justice Dimgba held that the 1st defendant (Shamsudeen) shall continue to enjoy the bail conditions, while the trial was adjourned to June 26, 2017.
He was arraigned together with four companies, Bird Trust Agro Allied Ltd, Intertrans Global Logistics Ltd, Diakin Telecommunications Ltd, and Bal-Vac Mining Nigeria Ltd, for alleged fraud to the tune of N1.105bn.
They were accused of money laundering and falsification of assets, carrying out business transactions worth billions of naira in violation of Money Laundering Act, including payment of various cash sums of money beyond the limit set by the Money Laundering Act for purchase of houses without going through a financial institution.

Author: News Editor

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