Hearing of a case of illegal acquisition of wealth and money laundering to the tune of N1.1billion involving Samsudeen Bala-Mohammed, a son of a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed got underway on Thursday, November 9, 2017 with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, presenting its first witness, Ishaya Dauda, before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja.
Samsudeen, who was re-arraigned on May 30, 2017 on an amended 15-count of money laundering and false declaration of assets, is facing trial alongside four other companies: Bird Trust Argo Limited, Intertrans Global Logistics Limited, Diakin Telecommunications Limited and Bal-Vac Mining Nigeria Limited.
The ex-minister’s son among other things allegedly involved in cash payments above statutory limit for the 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 the purchase of houses without going through a financial institution.
Dauda, an operative of the EFCC, while being led in evidence by the Ben Ikani gave a blow-by-blow account of how Samsudeen paid a cumulative sum of N1.1billion to buy different properties in choice areas of Abuja, using names of different companies.
According to the PW1, “the Commission stumbled on the various offences committed by Shamsudeen in the course of investigating his father, Mohammed”.
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.
“I know the defendant. In the course of investigating a case assigned to me against the former FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, we received an additional intelligence concerning purchases of properties by the defendant within the FCT.
“The companies are Diakin Telecommunications Ltd., Balbac Minning Nigeria Ltd., and Intertrans Logistics Global Nigeria Ltd.
“We extended our investigation to the Corporate Affairs Commission. We confirmed that the companies were registered with the CAC.
“We invited the lawyers that registered these companies by name Ishiaku Shuaibu, who confirmed that he registered those companies.
“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 N80million 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 N100million 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 N110million to K&K directly.
“Again, he made a lodgment of N200million 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 N296million”, Dauda stated.
The statements made by the defendant and the asset declaration form completed by him were tendered and admitted as exhibits as Chris Uche, SAN, representing the defendant raised no objection to the admissibility of the documents.
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