Alex Enumah in Abuja
Shamsudeen Bala, son of the immediate past Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohamed Bala, was on yesterday ordered to be remanded in Kuje Prisons, pending the determination of his bail application before the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The order was made by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the FCT after taken the submissions of counsel regarding the application.
Shamsudeen and four others were yesterday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on a 15-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N1.2billion.
The others are, Bird Trust Argo Limited, Intertrans Global Logistics Limited, Diakin Telecommunications Limited and Bal-Vac Mining Nigeria Limited.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges. Consequently, the prosecution counsel, Prince Ben Ikani, asked the court to remand the defendant in prison custody and fix dates for trial.
Responding, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), counsel to the defendants informed the court he had filed a motion on for bail on January 27.He said the motion is supported by an18 paragraph affidavit which they are relying upon to argue the case.Uche stated that the offences his clients were alleged to have committed are bail able.
He also added that Shamsudeen was granted administrative bail by the EFCC, adding that he has been enjoying the bail till date.
Uche assured the court that his client would not jump bail if granted.But, counsel to the prosecution, Ben Ikani, opposed to the bail application, stating that the defendant had showed cause that he could not be trusted.
According to him, the defendant refuses to submit his international passport with the EFCC when he was asked which portrays him as a flight risk.
Ikani told the court that the prosecution had filed an 11-paragraph affidavit dated January 31 which they are relying on to oppose the bail application.
While adjourning the trial till March 27 and 28, Justice Dimgba ordered that Shamsudeen be remanded in Kuje Prison Abuja pending ruling on his bail application on February 3.
Responding, trial judge, Justice Dimgba reserved his ruling on the bail application till tomorrow and ordered that the defendant be remanded in Kuje Prison pending the ruling.
Dimgba also fixed 27 and 28 March for the commencement of trial.
The EFCC has accused the minister’s son of allegedly laundering the sum of N 1,105,719,005.
According to the EFCC, Shamsudeen carried out business transactions worth billions of naira in cash, which is in violation of the Money Laundering Act.
The anti-graft commission also accused Shamsudeen of failing to declare his assets when he completed the EFCC Asset Declaration Form A.
The suspect allegedly concealed four of his accounts domiciled at Standard Chartered Bank.
The accounts were given as 0001857597, 5001214708, 0000895037 and 000895020