How ex-Abuja minister Bala Mohammed allegedly collected house bribe from bank – Witness

former FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed
former FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed

A prosecution witness, Ishaya Dauda, told an FCT High Court in Gudu how a former Abuja minister, Bala Mohammed, allegedly received a house as bribe.

Mr. Dauda also told the court that in the course of investigations, no government money was traced to Mr. Mohammed’s account.

Mr. Dauda, a Senior Detective Superintendent with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday said these during cross examination by the defence counsel, Chris Uche.

Mr. Mohammed is being prosecuted by the commission on a six-count charge bordering on false declaration of assets and graft to the tune of N864 million.

The witness admitted that the former minister was arraigned based on an intelligent report by the commission and not on a petition.

He said though the work of the commission was based on petitions and intelligence reports, the petition against the minister came first, adding that investigation had not been concluded in respect of the petition.

Upon further questioning on the source of the intelligence report, the witness said he would not disclose the source.

Earlier, while the witness was led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Ben Ikani, he said that the defendant received a property at Asokoro as a bribe by Aso Savings and Loans.

Mr. Dauda alleged that the former minister on the request of Aso Savings, had relocated Abuja Urban Mass Transit from their plot at Mpape area along Kubwa express.

The witness gave evidence that Aso Savings and Loans Ltd had stood as guarantor to Abuja Urban Mass Transit when they obtained a loan of N1.8 billion from the former Oceanic bank for the acquisition of new buses.

He said Abuja Urban Mass Transit had defaulted in repayment of the loan which led to Aso Savings being made to clear the debt.

“For Aso Savings to be able to recover their money from Abuja Mass Transit, they requested from the then FCT minister to relocate Abuja Urban Mass Transit to another place.

“This was to enable Aso Savings and Loans Ltd take over the land. They now bought the Asokoro property for the defendant in appreciation,’’ the witness said.

He said that to confirm that, they had invited the former Managing Director of Aso Savings, Hassan Usman, and the former Executive Director, Marketing, Maimuna Aliyu, to make statements.

He said they also invited the seller of the said Asokoro property, Ifeanyi Ihejirika, and Ogechi Nwaduke who also gave statements in their office.

Mr. Dauda said that when the defendant was questioned about the property, he initially refused to make statements.

Other properties allegedly belonged to the former minister which he did not declare in the Asset Declaration Form given by the EFCC include a property at the Three Arms Zone, Abuja, and a plot of land in Kaduna.

So far, the prosecution tendered the statements made by the defendant to the EFCC in court which was admitted and marked as exhibit A.

The other exhibit tendered, marked and admitted as exhibit B was the EFCC Asset Declaration Form.

Justice Abubakar Talba adjourned hearing in continuation of the trial to February 12, 2018.

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility


Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: To place a text-based advert here. Call Willie - +2347088095401

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.