Arms Deal: EFCC to probe former PDP Chairman, son over money laundering


bello-haliru-1The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission will this week arraign a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Haliru Mohammed, and his son, Abbah, before a Federal High Court in Abuja on four counts of money laundering involving about N300m, which he allegedly collected from the Office of the National Security Adviser.

The firm, Bam Properties, through which both Bello, who is also a former Minister of Defence, and his son allegedly collected the money from the Office of the NSA, is also one the three accused in the charge FHC/ABJ/CR/389/2015.

The accused are to be arraigned before Justice Ahmed Mohammed, who is currently serving as a vacation judge in the Abuja division of the court.

The accused allegedly received the money from the office of the former National Security Adviser on March 17, 2015 for political campaign but which was purportedly meant for “Safe Houses.”

The prosecution stated in the first count that the N300m collected by the accused was part of proceeds of Dasuki’s unlawful activity.

Dasuki and many others are already being prosecuted before two judges of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in relation to diversion of the sum of N45bn meant for the procurement of arms.

The prosecution alleged in the second count that the accused received the money under the guise that it was meant for “Safe Houses” but was actually released to them for political campaign.

Counts one and two are said to be offences 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.

In count three, the accused allegedly concealed the money in their Sterling Bank Plc. account when they “knew Doctor Aliru Bello and Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (retd.) to be engaged in a criminal conduct.”

The offence is said to be contrary to Section 17 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under section 17 (b) of the same Act.

Meanwhile, former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), may have found a serving or retired federal civil servant in the director cadre who owns N250m worth of property in Abuja to stand as bail surety for him.

Dasuki and some of his co-accused had been remanded in Kuje prison since December 21 over their inability to meet the bail conditions imposed by a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja, with respect to charges of misappropriation of arms fund preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

With the breakthrough in the search for a surety, sources said Dasuki, who was moved along with others to Kuje prison on December 21, pending when he would meet the bail conditions, would on Tuesday present all necessary documents to complete the processing of the bail.

Dasuki and some of his co-accused were granted bail by Justice Baba Yusuf in the sum of N250m with one surety, who must be a retired or serving director in the Federal Civil Service or any of the Federal Government’s establishments on December 18.

Justice Yusuf, who granted the bail with respect to the 19 counts of misappropriation of N32bn preferred against Dasuki and others, had also ordered that each surety to be produced by the accused persons must own property in Abuja that was worth N250m.

Sources close to the ex-NSA told our correspondent that directors in the Federal Civil Service who own property worth as much as N250m that had been contacted were afraid of the possibility of being arrested by the EFCC to account for how they acquired such property.

The source said, “He (Dasuki) has found a surety. Due to the public holiday on Monday, we have to wait till Tuesday before we can present all the necessary documents and the verification ordered by the judge can be done.

“We hope that the process can be completed on Tuesday to enable the judge sign the warrant that will release him from prison.”

When contacted, Dasuki’s lawyer, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), who refrained from giving much details about the steps being taken to meet the bail conditions, simply said, “We are meeting the bail conditions, God willing.”

Steer off arms scandal, Union warns civil servants

Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the association, Mr. Alade Lawal,  said civil servants spent years to build their careers hence, he would advise them not to stand as surety for people involved in the arms deal scandal, considering the gravity of the allegations.

Lawal said, “We will want to strongly advise our members to steer clear of this arms scandal. It took our members years to build their careers. It is therefore not advisable to get themselves involved in the arms scandal.”

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Hamilton Nwosa

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