The trial of former minister of the FCT, Bala Mohammed started yesterday with an official of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) telling an FCT High Court in Gudu that no government fund has yet been traced to the ex-minister’s accounts.
Ishaya Dauda, a Senior Detective Superintendent of the EFCC told the court that the anti-graft agency received a petition against Mohammad in 2013 and in addition received several intelligence reports on the ex-minister’s acquisition of properties within and outside Abuja.
He said the intelligence revealed that Mohammad received a property located at No. 1 & 3 Maryam Mukhtar Street, Asokoro as gratification from Aso Savings and Loans. He said the property was given to Muhammad after he allocated a plot of land at Mpape initially belonging to Abuja Urban Mass Transit to Aso Savings and Loans.
Led in evidence by EFCC’s counsel, Ben Ikani, the witness said further investigation revealed that Aso Savings also paid for 15 properties at Citec estate in Abuja and handed over the properties to the ex-minister.
He said Mohammad took one of the properties for himself and shared the remaining 14 with his political allies.
He added that one of the intelligence also received revealed that Aso Savings also played a role in the Mohammad’s acquisition of a property located at No. 54 Mike Akhigbe Street, Jabi, Abuja. He said the property earlier belonged to Senator Smart Adeyemi who he said defaulted on his mortgage arrangement with Aso Savings and Loans.
Dauda said the property is being occupied by Primus Hospital and that the representative of the hospital, Prince Sunny said in his statement that they have been making payments as tenants through a company called Mobeena Global Resources belonging to one Danjuma Aliyu, a younger brother to Mohammad’s wife.
Under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), the witness said although Aso Savings played major roles in all the transactions upon which the defendant is standing trial, none of its staff is being prosecuted.
He said he is not aware that Mohammad was arraigned on May 10 few days after he indicated interest in contesting for the governorship election of Bauchi state, adding that although investigation into the petition is yet to be concluded, the ex-minister was arraigned at the completion of investigation into the several intelligence reports.
At the instance of the defence counsel, the trial judge, Justice Abubakar Talba adjourned the trial to February 12, 2018 for further cross-examination of the witness.