Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered that Shamsudeen Bala, son of former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister Bala Mohammed be remanded in Kuje prison, Abuja.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, who gave the order yesterday, said Bala should remain in custody till Friday when the court will rule on his bail application.
The judge gave the order shortly after listening to arguments on his bail application.
The bail application was argued after Bala was arraigned on a 15-count charge of money laundering brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Bala was arraigned with four firms – Bird Trust Argo Limited, Intertrans Global Logistics Limited, Diakin Telecommunications Limited and Bal-Vac Mining Nigeria Limited.
The ex-minister’s son was accused of laundering N1,105,719,005 in 2015. Besides, he was charged with false assets declaration.
Bala was said to have carried out cash transactions beyond the limit set by the Money Laundering Act. He was also said to have failed to declare his assets when he completed the EFCC Asset Declaration Form A.
He allegedly concealed four of his accounts domiciled at Standard Chartered Bank. The accounts were given as 0001857597, 5001214708, 0000895037 and 000895020.
Arguing his client’s bail application, Bala’s lawyer, Chris Uche (SAN) contended that the charges against Bala were bailable.
He added that the EFCC had, by itself, granted an administrative bail to his client after arresting him in June 2015, and that the commission did not deny it.
Prosecution lawyer Ben Ikani opposed the bail application on the grounds that the defendant would escape from trial if granted bail.
Ikani, who noted that the charges against the defendant attract a maximum of seven years prison term on conviction, argued that Bala was not entitled to bail, going by his antecedents from when he was arrested.