Abuja - The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has seized at least 12 properties from a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed, and his son, Shamsudeen Bala, Punch reports.
It was learnt on Tuesday that the seizures were part of investigations into a controversial land swap deal carried out by the minister to the tune of N1tn between 2010 and 2015.
Mohammed, who has been in EFCC custody for over six weeks, is alleged to have entered into some controversial land deals and allegedly gave some landed properties to his cronies for the construction of malls.
The source said, “We have evidence that the ex-minister diverted funds from Internally Generated Revenue. He also gave land arbitrarily to friends without following due process. Some of the land had even been allocated to other people but seized from them unjustly.”
Already, the commission has grilled a former Chairman of Skye Bank, Tunde Ayeni, who was also the Chairman of ASO Savings & Loans Plc over the purchase of the N7.5bn ASO Grove Estate at the Maitama area of Abuja by the bank through the ex-minister.
A detective in the EFCC, while speaking with our correspondent, alleged that the former minister was also a front for Mrs. Patience Jonathan, the wife of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mohammed became very close to the Jonathan family in 2009 when he called for the adoption of the doctrine of necessity when the then President Umaru Yar’Adua was critically ill and unable to perform his functions as President.
It was through this process that Yar’Adua was declared incapacitated and paved the way for the then Vice-President Jonathan to become the acting President and later President.
As FCT minister, Mohammed revoked the 1.84 hectares of land allocated to Yar’Adua’s wife, which was meant for her organisation, Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation.
The ex-minister then allocated the land to Patience for the construction of African First Ladies’ Peace Mission’s secretariat, stating that the move was in the interest of the public.
An FCT High Court, however, described the land grab as illegal and returned it to Mrs. Yar’Adua.
Former FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed has taken ill in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), according to News24.
He was subsequently rushed to EFCC's clinic where he was attended to by doctors.
The nature of the illness is still unknown at the moment,
- News 24