20170915

EFCC seizes 14 properties traced to ex-FCT minister & son

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says it has seized14 properties located in “choice areas” of Abuja traced to the immediate past Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed, and his son, Shamsuddeen.

The EFCC stated this in a court application filed by one of its prosecutors, Mr. Ben Ikani.

The application, filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja on September 11, 2017, sought the interim forfeiture of the properties.

The anti-graft agency stated that although it had “recovered and seized” the properties, they could not be forfeited to the Federal Government without a court order.

EFCC said both Mohammed and his son “have denied ownership and connection” to the properties.

But the commission maintained that “preliminary investigation has revealed that the properties listed on the schedule are unlawfully acquired through corrupt practices by the former minister and his son while in office as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.”

The properties, according to the EFCC, included one “mansion” located at Sunrise Estate, Asokoro, Abuja; and three sets of four-bedroomed semi-detached duplex at Green Acres Estate, Apo-Dutse, Abuja.

Others were two sets of four-bedroomed fully-detached duplexes each with boys’ quarters on Gana Street, Maitama, Abuja, a trekable distance to Transcorps Hilton Hotel Abuja.

Also listed as part of the seized properties was a four-bedroomed detached duplex with boys’ quarters located at 9, Platinum Luxury Home White Estate, Asokoro, Abuja.

Title documents attached to the EFCC’s application stated that some of the facilities in some of properties included “excellent road and drainage network; dedicated transformer; borehole for constant water supply; fitted kitchen, bedroom cabinet and wardrobes; ample parking space; and children playing ground.”

The rest of the properties are plots of land in six different locations in Abuja.

Already, the EFCC is prosecuting the former minister before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Gudu, Abuja, on six corruption-related charges, and his son, Shamsuddeen, before the Federal High Court, Abuja, on 15 counts of money laundering and failure to declare some assets.

The charges against Shamsuddeen involve about N1.1bn.

Recall that two high courts in Abuja had in February ordered the former minister and his son to forfeit 10 properties located in Jabi, Garki, Maitama and Jahi and other areas of Abuja.