Alleged ₦300m Fraud: EFCC re-arraigns former PDP national chairman

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A former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bello Mohammed, has been brought before Justice Peter Lifu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in connection with an alleged ₦300M fraud.

He and his company, Bam Projects and Properties Ltd, have been subjected to a new trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged criminal breach of trust and money laundering.

This is in relation to accusations of diverting funds intended for the procurement of arms, routed through the office of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.

During the proceedings, Mohammed and his co-defendants pleaded not guilty to the four-count charge. Subsequently, the EFCC’s counsel requested a trial date.

Mohammed’s counsel, Kanu Agabi, requested the court to allow his client to remain on the existing bail granted by Justice Ahmed Mohammed, emphasizing that Mohammed had not violated the previous bail conditions and was unlikely to abscond.

While Atolagbe, the EFCC counsel, did not contest Agabi’s application, he argued that Mohammed’s bail had been revoked in the past for breaching the conditions.

Justice Lifu granted Mohammed bail under the conditions previously set by another court and scheduled the trial for May 7th and 8th.

The first count accuses the company, Mohammed, and his deceased son, Bello Abba Mohammed, of receiving ₦300m into the account of Bam Project and Properties Ltd with Sterling Bank Plc from the NSA office’s account with the Central Bank of Nigeria on or about March 17, 2015.

The EFCC alleged that the funds were part of the proceeds from an unlawful activity involving Col. Dasuki (rtd.), and that the offense violates Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended in 2012), and is punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

The former PDP chairman had previously been brought before Justice Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja on January 5, 2016, and was granted bail on January 7, 2016.

Despite the case being at an advanced stage, Justice Mohammed was recently elevated to the Court of Appeal, necessitating the case to begin anew.