Court grants ex-FCT minister’s son N100m bail

High Court

The Federal High Court in Maitama, Abuja, yesterday granted Shamsudeen Bala, son of former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Bala Mohammed, bail in the sum of N100 million.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba also ordered Bala to produced two sureties in the sum of N50 million each, as part of the bail condition.

The defendant is also to deposit his international passport with the court and must not travel without the permission of the court.

The Judge further ordered that the defendant should remain in prison custody until he perfects his bail condition.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Shamsudeen, alongside four other companies, on February 1 on a 15-count charge, bordering on money laundering to the tune of N1.1 billion.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was remanded in prison custody, pending the ruling on his bail application.

At the resumed hearing, Justice Dimgba said he was disposed to granting him bail since the offences he was accused of were bailable, as the court had consistently held that every citizen brought before it was presumed innocent until proven otherwise and as such entitled to bail.

The Judge added that the prosecution had failed to prove that the defendant was a flight risk, saying: “A sufficient case has not been made by the prosecution to show that the defendant will jump bail or commit another offence if released on bail.”

He also noted that the charge preferred against the defendant was silent on whether the N1.1 billion in question originated from a private or public account or was part of corrupt proceeds.

The prosecutor, Larry Aso, had opposed the bail application on the grounds that the defendant had refused to provide the EFCC with his bio-data and fingerprints.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Aso told the court that this was indicative of the fact that his character was not to be trusted, as he was likely to frustrate the trial and jump bail if granted.

The matter was adjourned till March 27 and 28, this year for hearing.

Shamsudeen was arraigned, together with four companies- Bird Trust Agro Allied Ltd, Intertrans Global Logistics Ltd, Diakin Telecommunications Ltd and Bal-Vac Mining Nigeria Ltd.

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