Friday, October 28, 2016

EFCC: Abati Granted Bail, Bala To Spend More Days

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has secured a court order to hold a detained former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed.

The EFCC has also granted the former Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Reuben Abati, an administrative bail.

A competent source in the commission said on Thursday that the commission decided to secure the order to detain the ex-FCT minister because the operatives in charge of his case had not concluded ongoing investigations.

It was stated that the operatives were still grilling the former minister, who was arrested on Monday.

The source stated, “Today, the commission secured a court order to detain the former Minister of the FCT, Bala Mohammed.

“Nobody can say exactly when he would be released because as I said, the man is still undergoing interrogation.”

The EFCC is investigating the former minister for alleged fictitious contracts worth N1bn, allocation of 12 choice properties and 37 commercial plots to a suspected front.

It was learnt that the commission was also looking into an alleged controversial Abuja land swap deal valued at N1tn.

Prior to the arrest of the former minister, the commission had interrogated some top directors of the FCT in connection with the ongoing probe.

The Director of Treasury, Ibrahim Bomoi; his counterpart in charge of Land, Babayo Mainasara; the Director in charge of Abuja Geographical Information Service, Ms Jamila Tangaza; the son of the former minister, Samshudeen Bala; and one Tariq Hammoud were among those who were interrogated by the EFCC.

Also, the owners of 16 companies involved in the deals were said to have been invited for interrogation.

The commission was said to have seized some houses valued at N872m from the ex-minister and three other duplexes valued at N225m from the son of the minister.

Meanwhile, the EFCC has granted administrative bail to the detained former Special Adviser to Jonathan on Media, Dr. Reuben Abati.

A source in the commission, who confided in a Punch correspondent, said Abati was granted administrative bail by the commission on Wednesday.

The source added that the commission gave a condition to the former presidential spokesman to produce a service director in the Federal Civil Service as a surety, among others.

“The former Special Adviser to former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has been granted an administrative bail.

“He is still struggling to perfect the terms of the bail. It is the usual bail conditions. He is required to produce a serving director as surety and submit his passport among others,” the operative added.

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