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Alleged N1.1 billion Fraud: Trial of ex-minister’s son adjourned

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Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal Federal High Court in Abuja, has adjourned further hearing in a N1.1 billion money laundering case involving Shamsudeen Bala, son of a former FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, to March 12, 2018.

The adjournment was at the instance of Mr. Bala’s counsel, Goddy Uche, who requested access to some documents which were not attached in the proof of evidence and were relevant to his defence.

According to him, “the documents are statement of account belonging to Sunrise Estate in the receipt of payment of the sum of N80 million from Setraco Ltd and written instruction by Setraco Ltd to Zenith Bank to effect payment of the sum of N80 million naira”.

Mr. Bala is facing a 15-count charge of money laundering alongside four firms – Bird Trust Agro Allied Ltd; Intertrans Global Logistics Ltd; DiakinTelecommunications Ltd and Bal-Vac Mining Ltd, which were allegedly used to launder the N1.1 billion.

The former minister’s son in a bid to allegedly conceal the stolen funds resorted to acquisition of properties within high brow Abuja.

The defendants are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

It would be recalled that, the EFCC’s first prosecution witness, Ishaya Dauda had testified to the effect that shamsudeen Bala made cash payment to the tune of N80 million to Sunrise through a developer, Sani Jaude (now late) for the purchase of land at plot 2116 and 2276 in Asokoro Gardens, Abuja.

The case, which was for cross-examination of the PW1, could not go on today as Mr. Uche requested to see the documents regarding the said transactions to enable the defence cross-examine the witness.

In response, counsel to the EFCC, Ben Ikani, argued that,”Zenith Bank is the one to produce original copy of statement of account and not the prosecution”.

In the circumstance, the case was adjourned.

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