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Thursday, 2 February 2017

Abuja Big Boy, Shamsudeen Bala, Remanded In Prison

Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered that Shamsudeen Bala, son of former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Bala Mohammed, be remanded in Kuje prison, Abuja.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba who gave the order yesterday, said Shamsudeen should remain in custody till Friday when the court will rule on whether to grant him bail or not, based on evidence.

The judge gave the order shortly after listening to arguments on his bail application.

The bail application was argued after Shamsudeen was arraigned on a 15-count charge of money laundering brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The ex-minister’s son was accused of laundering N1,105,719,005 in 2015. Besides, he was charged with false assets declaration.

The Abuja big boy was said to have carried out cash transactions beyond the limit set by Money Laundering Act. He was also said to have failed to declare his assets when he completed the EFCC Asset Declaration Form A.

He allegedly concealed four of his accounts domiciled at Standard Chartered Bank. The accounts were given as 0001857597, 5001214708, 0000895037 and 000895020.

Arguing his client’s bail application, Shamsudeen ’s lawyer, Chris Uche (SAN) contended that the charges against Bala were bailable.

EFCC lawyer Ben Ikani opposed the bail move on the grounds that the defendant would escape from trial if granted bail.

Ikani, who said the charges against the defendant attract up to 7 years prison term on conviction, argued that he was not entitled to bail, going by his antecedents from when he was arrested.

After listening to arguments for and against the bail application, Justice Dimgba adjourned till February 3 for ruling on bail, and March 27 for commencement of trial.

He ordered that Shamsudeen be kept in Kuje prison pending the ruling.

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