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EFCC set to arraign ex-FCT minister Bala Muhammed



Former Minister of the FCT, Bala Muhammed, will be arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on fresh six-count charges tomorrow.
Bala, who was last Wednesday re-arrested and detained by the EFCC, would be arraigned before an FCT High Court on charges bordering on bribery and false asset declaration in the sum of N864 million and properties in Abuja and Kaduna.
According to the EFCC, the ex-minister accepted N550 million in gratification from the Aso Savings and Loans Ltd, in respect of house 2599 and 2600 Cadastral Zone AO4, Asokoro, Abuja sometime in 2014.
The EFCC said on October 24, 2016 he lied to Detective Ishaya Daudu of the Economic Governance Section of the commission, while making a statement that the house was acquired through the bank’s mortgage loan.
The ex-minister was also alleged to have on October 24, 2016 failed to make full disclosure in an EFCC asset declaration form about property No 54 Mike Akhigbe Street, Jabi Abuja and declared “property at Angwan Sarki, Kaduna State as undeveloped plot whereas it is a fully built house.”
EFCC also alleged that the ex-minister falsely claimed in his asset declaration form that the property: CITEC Kwara House 5 A9 Street, Mbora, Abuja FCT belonging to one Abubakar Abdu Mohammed was his.

EFCC set to arraign ex-FCT minister Bala Muhammed

He was also alleged to have used his position as chairman Board of Aso Savings to confer corrupt and undue advantage to himself, by allocating four numbers fully detached duplexes and 11 numbers semi-detached duplexes valued at N314 million only through the Presidential Taskforce on Sale of Governments Houses.
The offences are contrary to sections 18 (b), 19 of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act, 2000; sections 27 (3) (a) and 39 of the EFCC Establishment Act, 2004.
Meanwhile, counsel to Bala Muhammed, Chris Uche (SAN) has filed a fundamental rights application before the court challenging the re-arrest and detention of the former minister.
Uche asked the court to grant him bail pending trial because he was previously granted bail by the court on December 1, 2016, adding that an initial five-count charge against him was withdrawn by the EFCC.
Umar Aliyu Usman, an aide to the ex-minister averred in an affidavit attached to the suit, that he had lung surgery complications as a result of the previous detention between October 24 and December 9, 2016.
It was gathered last night that the former minister was still being detained at the EFCC.

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