HomeCourt room newsEFCC Re-Arraigns Ex-PDP Chair Over Alleged Diversion of Arms Fund

EFCC Re-Arraigns Ex-PDP Chair Over Alleged Diversion of Arms Fund

Date:

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday, re-arraigned a former acting national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Haliru Bello Mohammed, over his alleged role in the diversion of funds meant for procurement of arms during the former President Goodluck Jonathan administration.

Mr Mohammed, whose trial started at the Federal High Court in Abuja in January 2016, was re-arraigned eight years after, on Monday, for the case to restart afresh.

He was re-arraigned alongside his company, Bam Projects and Properties Ltd, on four counts of alleged criminal breach of trust and money laundering allegedly involving the diversion of N300 million meant for the procurement of arms, through the office of then National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Dasuki served as NSA during the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s government.

Mr Mohammed became the acting chairperson of the PDP and remained in the position until he was appointed the Minister of Defence in July 2012. He served as the Minister of Defence between 2011 and 2012, but remained an influential member of the PDP up till when the party lost power in 2015.

His trial for allegedly receiving N300 million fraudulently from the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) in March 2015 had started with his arraignment in January 2016.

But after years of trial, the judge handling it, Ahmed Mohammed, was elevated to the Court of Appeal bench, prompting the reassignment of the case to Peter Lifu of the same Federal High Court in Abuja.

The EFCC, through its prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), filed amended charges against Mr Mohammed on 18 March (Monday).

Re-arraignment

When the matter was called on Monday, the lawyer who appeared for the EFCC, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, told the court that the matter was for the defendants to take their plea and that he was ready to proceed.

He said an amended charge had been filed and the defence had been served.

Defence lawyer, Kanu Agabi, a SAN, confirmed the receipt of the amended charge.

Mr Mohammed and his co-defendants pleaded not guilty to all the counts, following which Mr Atolagbe applied for a trial date.

Mr Agabi, however, prayed the court to allow Mr Mohammed to continue on existing bail granted by the former trial judge, Ahmed Mohammed.

The senior lawyer said Mr Mohammed did not flout the earlier bail conditions granted him and that he would not jump bail.

Although Mr Atolagbe did not oppose Mr Agabi’s application, he argued that his bail was once revoked for breaching the terms.

The judge granted the defence lawyer’s request by allowing Mr Mohammed to the terms and conditions of bail granted him by the former trial judge. He then adjourned the matter until 7 and 8 May for trial.

Charges

In count one, the company, the ex-PDP chair and his son, Bello Abba Mohammed (now deceased), were accused of taking possession of the sum of N300 million paid into the account of Bam Project and Properties Ltd with Sterling Bank Plc from the account of the office of the NSA with the Central Bank of Nigeria on or about 17 March 2015.

The EFCC alleged that the funds formed part of the proceed of an unlawful activity of Col. Dasuki (rtd.) and that the offence is contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended in 2012) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

NAN reports that Mr Mohammed was earlier arraigned before a former trial judge, Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja on 5 January 2016. He was granted bail on 7 January 2016.

The matter had reached an advanced stage before the former trial judge (Ahmed Mohammed, who was last year, elevated to the Court of Appeal bench. This prompted the reassignment of the case to Mr Lifu and, hence Monday’s re-arraignment.

NAN

Share on

Place your
Adver here

For more details, contact

Related articles:

Rights Infringement: Kano Government to Pay N10m Damages to Deposed Emir

A Federal High Court in Kano on Friday upheld...

[Download] Judgment of Court Upholding CBN’s Regulation on Collection of Customers’ Social Media Handles

On Wednesday, 15th May 2024, Honourable Justice Nnamdi Dimgba...

[Download] Federal High Court Practice Direction on the E-Affidavit Regime

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court Hon....

Industrial Court 2024 Annual Vacation Begins July 29

The Hon. President of the National Industrial Court of...

Court Affirms 25 Pro-Wike Lawmakers as PDP Members

A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt...