Two federal high court judges have ordered the immediate past Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed and his son, Shamsudeen to temporarily forfeit 10 properties to the Federal Government.
The suspects were also barred from selling anything found in the properties, including luxury cars, jewelleries and other valuables.
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja ordered the temporary forfeiture of the properties “to the Federal Government pending the conclusion of investigation and determination of criminal charges against the suspects.”
He added, “The court also gives the commission power to appoint competent persons/firm to manage the assets/properties listed.”
Justice Gabriel Kolawole, also of the Federal High Court, Abuja, ordered that the assets be “forfeited to the Federal Government pending the conclusion of investigation and determination of the criminal charges against the suspects.”
Justice Kolawole stated, “The court also forbids any disposal, conveyance, mortgage, lease, sale or alienation or otherwise of the property/assets.”
On February 1, 2016, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Shamsudeen for alleged fraud to the tune of N1,105,719,005.
The anti-graft agency also slammed 15 charges on the ex-minister’s son and four other companies.
The EFCC accused Shamsudeen of carrying out business transactions worth billions of naira in cash, which is in violation of the Money Laundering Act.
Specifically, Shamsudeen was accused of buying all the aforementioned properties in cash.
One of the charges read in part, “That you, Shamsudeen Bala (alias Shamsudeen Mohammed Bala), Bird Trust Agro Allied Limited and Intertrans Global Logistics Limited, sometime in 2015 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did, without going through a financial institution, make cash payment of N200,000,000 to A&K Constructions Limited , Abuja, and Sunrise Estate Development Limited for Construction of a house on Plot Nos 2116 and 2276 at Asokoro Gardens (alias Sunrise Estate), Abuja, which 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.”
Some of the properties include three plots of land with development at various stages of completion at No 54 Mike Akhigbe Way, Jabi, Abuja; Plot 2276 Sunrise Estate, Asokoro, Abuja, and Plot 1804 Damaturu Crescent, off Ahmadu Bello Way, Garki 11, Abuja.
Two other properties, belonging to the ex-minister, which were also seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, are located at No. 1 and 3 Marian Street, Asokoro, Abuja, and a twin plaza at Wuse Zone 3 by Tamarak Guest Inn, Abuja.
The EFCC also seized five other properties, belonging to the ex-minister’s son.
The properties are at 7 Gana Street, Maitam, Abuja; an estate and plaza at Dawaki, opposite Gwarinpa, Abuja; an estate at Jahi District, Abuja; three duplexes at Abuja Investment Company Limited Estate, Abuja, and a shop at Dubai Market, Kaura District, Abuja.