The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday, opened its case of alleged N1.1bn fraud against Shamsudeen Bala-Mohammed, a son of a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Bala Mohammed.
The commission called one of its detectives involved in the investigation of the case, Mr. Ishaya Dauda, as its first prosecution witness on Thursday.
The witness, led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Ben Ikani, detailed how the defendant allegedly paid a cumulative sum of N1.1bn to buy different properties in different parts of Abuja.
He said Shamsudeen acquired the various houses in the names of different companies.
The EFCC had, on May 30, 2017, re-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.
Shamsudeen was charged along with four other companies, namely, Bird Trust Argo Limited, Intertrans Global Logistics Limited, Diakin Telecommunications Limited and Bal-Vac Mining Nigeria Limited.
The EFCC accused the ex-minister’s son of making cash payments above statutory limit for construction and purchase of properties in various parts of Abuja.
He allegedly paid various cash sums of money beyond the limit set by the Money Laundering Act for purchase of houses without going through a financial institution.
The suspect allegedly concealed four of his accounts domiciled at Standard Chartered Bank.
The commission also accused Shamsudeen of failing to declare his assets when he completed the EFCC Asset Declaration Form A in 2015.
The trial resumed before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba on Thursday when the first prosecution witness told the court that he discovered the offences allegedly committed by Shamsudeen while investigating his father.
The ex-minister, Mohammed, who is also being separately prosecuted before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Gudu, Abuja, on six counts bordering on receiving of gratification and making false assets declaration of some of his properties, sat among the audience throughout the period the proceedings of his son’s trial lasted on Thursday.
Dauda, the first prosecution witness, told Justice Dimgba on Thursday that apart from the intelligence received on Mohammed, there was additional intelligence received about Shamsudeen’s activities revealing how he (Shamsudeen) used the four companies charged along with him to acquire the properties.
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.