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Bala Mohammed to lose 14 properties over court order

- The Nigerian government is close to recovering some assets owned by former public officials

- Former minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Alhaji Bala Mohammed, is said to be one of those that will lose some his assets

- A recent court ruling asked that Mohammed's properties be forfeited to the government within 21 days

A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the forfeiture of 14 properties owned by former FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed over alleged corruption.

The court in its ruling, approved an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seeking forfeiture of the properties.

NAIJ.com gathered that the properties are scattered all over the FCT and were allegedly purchased and concealed under names of different companies and individuals.

Bala Mohammed to forfeit 14 properties to Federal Government

Bala Mohammed during one of his court appearances. Photo credit: Daily Trust

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Justice Nnamdi Dimgba on Tuesday, October 17, ordered that the properties be forfeited to the federal government within 21 days and ordered the publication of the order in major Nigerian newspapers.

The order followed an ex parte application by EFCC counsel, Ben Ikani, who pleaded the court to direct all persons or bodies, who may have interest to show cause why the said properties should not be forfeited to the federal government.

In the affidavit by an EFCC operative, Ishaya Dauda, the anti-graft commission averred that investigations into allegations of abuse of office, corruption and corrupt practices, and money laundering against the former minister and his son Shamsudeen Mohammed, showed that “some properties reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities and crimes kept and concealed in names of proxies and nominees,” have been recovered and seized.

According to Daily Trust, the properties are in areas such as Asokoro, Apo-Dutse, Maitama, Garki II and Area 1 Extension.

The former minister, who is also facing a six-count charge bordering on abuse of office, false declaration of assets and fraud to the tune of N864 million before an FCT High Court, was however absent at the hearing on Tuesday, October 18.

The lawyer who stood in for Chris Uche (SAN), who is the lead defence counsel, Nbani Tula, told the court that the lead counsel was bereaved, adding that the ex-minister was absent in court due to stomach problem.

Justice Talba Abubakar, thereafter adjourned the matter to Monday, December 4.

Meanwhile, the federal government has initiated moves to seize assets of a former minister for petroleum resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke and four others in Dubai.

This is coming after President Muhammadu Buhari signed instruments of ratification for a number of bilateral agreements with the UAE strengthening his administration’s anti-corruption fight on Thursday, August 24.

The agreements signed by the president covered anti-corruption, tax administration and intellectual property protection.

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Source: Naij.com

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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