The trial of Shamsudeen Bala, son of a former FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, in a case of alleged money laundering to the tune of N1.1billion continued on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja, with the cross-examination of Ishaya Dauda, first prosecution witness.
Bala is facing a 15-count charge of money laundering alongside four firms – Bird Trust Agro Allied Ltd; Intertrans Global Logistics Ltd; DiakinTelecommunications Ltd and Bal-Vac Mining Ltd.
The former Minister’s son allegedly paid various cash sums beyond the limit set by the Money Laundering Act for the purchase of houses without going through a financial institution.
Bala, in a bid to conceal the suspected stolen funds resorted to acquisition of properties in Abuja.
At the commencement of the trial on November 9, 2017 Dauda, an operative of the EFCC, in his evidence in-chief narrated how Shamsudeen paid a cumulative sum of N1.1billion to buy different properties in choice areas of Abuja, using names of different companies.
After the blow-by-blow account of how the transaction went, the defence, led by Goddy Uche, SAN, requested access to ‘some documents’ regarding the said transactions to enable the defence cross-examine the witness.
Ben Ikani representing the EFCC, in response insisted that all relevant documents had been frontloaded in the proof of evidence. He urged the court to overrule the request by the defence and order the continuation of trial.
Justice Dimgba, who had earlier granted two adjournments for parties to meet and reconcile documents, today overruled the defence and ordered that the PW1 be cross-examined pending when such documents were ready to avoid unnecessary delay of the proceedings.
Under cross-examination, Dauda admitted that the name of the first defendant (Bala), though not contained in the list of directors of Intertrans Global Logistics Ltd., but was found on the surface of the document.
A copy of Certificate of Incorporation of Intertrans Ltd containing names of directors of the company was tendered by Uche and admitted as ‘Exhibit SB7’.
Another document obtained by the EFCC from the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, Certificate of Incorporation, ‘Form CAC 2’ and Memorandum of Incorporation belonging to Dakin Telecommunications Ltd was admitted as ‘Exhibit SB8 (i-vi).
A set of documents belonging to Bal-Vac Ltd was also admitted as SB9 (i-xxii)
Responding to a question on whether there was any report or complaint by any individual leading to the investigation and arrest of the defendant, the PW1 said, “We received intelligence report on the defendant sometime in 2015”.
He also added that the defendant failed to disclose some bank accounts linked to him during investigation.
The case has been adjourned to June 12 and 13, 2018 for continuation of trial.