NIGERIA- Justice A.R. Mohammed of a Federal High Court, Abuja has adjourned the trial of a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Haliru Bello and his son, Bello Abba Mohammed to June 5, 2019, for the continuation of trial.
Bello, his son, Mohammed and their company, Bam Projects and Properties Limited are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly receiving the sum of N300 million from the office of the former National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.). They are facing a four-count charge bordering on money laundering.
One of the charges reads: “That you, Bello Abba Mohammed, Bam Projects and Properties Ltd and Dr. Haliru Bello on or about 17th March 2015 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, took possession of the sum of N300 million paid into the account of BAM Projects and Properties Limited with Sterling Bank Plc from the account of the Office of the National Security Adviser with the CBN when you reasonably ought to have known that the said fund formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity of Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd), the then National Security Adviser (to wit: criminal breach of trust and corruption) and you thereby committed an offence 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.”
At the resumed hearing on April 10, 2019 the prosecuting counsel, O.A. Atolagbe informed the court that the prosecution was ready with its witnesses, but that he received a call from the defence team that the defence counsel, Solomon Umeh, SAN, will not be in court for the day’s proceeding.
“I was informed that he is at the Court of Appeal, Jos and could not be able to make it, here,” he said.
Meanwhile, Barth Ogar, counsel for Bello, applied for medical leave on behalf of his client to enable him attend to his health between April and May. The prosecution raised no objections, but urged the court to grant the application on the condition that the defendant will make himself available on the next adjourned date.
The court then mandated Bello to file an affidavit stating that he will be available for trial.