The Federal High Court in Abuja has on Monday, fixed 28 April 2022 for Shamsudeen Bala, son of Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed to open his defence in an alleged N1.2bn fraud charge leveled against him.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) had filed a 20- count charge against Bala bordering on money laundering, forgery and failure to disclose assets.
A counsel to Bala, Mr. Chris Uche, (SAN) prayed the court for an adjournment to enable his team to deal with certain housekeeping issues when the matter was called and Justice Dimgba consequently fixed the date.
Justice Dimgba had in December 2021 dismissed 11 out of 20 counts preferred against Bala relating to money laundering for not being supported with credible evidence by the prosecution, maintaining that only the nine charges relating to Bala’s failure to declare some of his bank accounts and the amount in them to the EFCC, identity fraud, and forgery warranted a defence from him.
The EFCC accused Bala of conspiring with four firms to make payments of about N1.2 billion in cash for the purchase of properties in different parts of Abuja without going through a financial institution, which violated the cash transaction limits stipulated in the anti-money laundering law
Also, the agency alleged that he failed to declare his monetary assets in his accounts domiciled at Standard Chartered Bank Plc, when he was arrested and asked to complete the EFCC’s assets declaration form in June 2016.
Mr. Bala was also accused of forging documents relating to his acquisition of some properties in Abuja as well as committing separate identify fraud, by disguising his true identity to take possession of two properties in Abuja.