A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday fixed January 5, 2016, for the arraignment of a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Haliru Bello, and his son, Abbah Mohammed, on four counts of money laundering involving about N300m, which they allegedly collected from the office of the then National Security Adviser.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had charged Bello, who was also a former Minister of Defence, and his son along with their firm, Bam Properties.
They were scheduled for arraignment before Justice Ahmed Mohammed on Wednesday, but the proceedings were, however, stalled due to the ill health of the former PDP chairman, who was said to be on an admission in an Abuja hospital.
The case was not mentioned during the formal court session on Wednesday but the new arraignment date was given to the prosecution and the accused persons by court registrars.
EFCC lawyer, Mr. Aliyu Yusuf, was in court on Wednesday, for the stalled arraignment.
The accused persons, in the charge FHC/ABJ/CR/389/2015, allegedly received the sum of N300m money from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (retd.), on March 17, 2015, for political campaign under the pretext that it was meant for “Safe Houses.”
The prosecution stated in the first count that the N300m collected by the accused was part of proceeds of the immediate past NSA’s unlawful activities.
Dasuki and many others are already being prosecuted before two judges of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Maitama, Abuja, in relation to the diversion of a total sum of N45bn meant for procurement of arms.
The prosecution alleged in the second count that the accused received the money under the guise that it was meant “for Safe Houses” but was actually released to them for political campaign.
Counts one and two are said to be offences 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.
In count three, the accused persons allegedly concealed the money in their Sterling Bank Plc account when they “knew the said Doctor Aliru Bello and Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (retd.) to be engaged in a criminal conduct.”
The offence is said to be contrary to Section 17 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under Section 17(b) of the same Act.
They were also accused of conspiring to “launder” the money, which they claimed to have received for political campaign when they “reasonably ought to have known that the said fund formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity of Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki, the then National Security Adviser.”
The offence is said to be contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.