Bala Mohammed, Bauchi Gov.

A Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, has refused to set aside the order of interim forfeiture of some properties linked to Shamsudeen Bala, son of the Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for money laundering offence.

Shamsudeen is facing trial before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of a Federal High Court, Abuja on an amended 14-count charge. He is standing trial alongside Bird Trust Agro Allied Limited, Intertrans Global Logistic Ltd, Diakin Telecommunications Ltd and Bal-Vac Mining Nigeria Ltd.

In the course of the trial, the EFCC had on October 18, 2017 secured an order for the interim forfeiture of some properties traced to Shamsudeen, which are believed to be the proceeds of illegal activities.

Justice Dimgba had made the order pursuant to a motion brought before the Court by the EFCC seeking for the interim forfeiture of the properties.

Dissatisfied with the order, Shamsudeen sought the order of the Court, to set aside the interim forfeiture order of Justice Dimgba.

However, delivering judgment today, March 11, 2020, Justice Taiwo refused to set aside the interim forfeiture orders of some of the properties as contained in the order of interim forfeiture made by Justice Dimgba.

The properties include, a mansion located at Sunrise Estate, Asokoro, Abuja; three four-bedroom semi detached duplexes located at Green Acres Estate, Apo-Dutse, Abuja; and a four-bedroom semi detached duplex with BQ, located at Maitama, Abuja. The trial judge held that in relation to three other properties listed in the schedule, “those who laid claims showed sufficient proof of ownership and no pending charge against them”.

Furthermore, Justice Taiwo, also took judicial notice of counts three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine and 10 and also refused to set aside the properties listed in the counts, “because they are subject to pending criminal proceedings before Justice Dimgba”.

Meanwhile, Shamsudeen is expected to continue with his trial before Justice Dimgba on March 24, 2020.