All is set for the commencement of the trial of a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Dr. Haliru Bello Mohammed and his son, Abbah for alleged corruption by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday.
Operatives of the anti-graft agency yesterday arrested Abbah ahead of his arraignment and father.
However, Mohammed who at different times headed the Nigerian Customs Service and was Minister of Defence was said to be on admission in an Abuja hospital for an undisclosed illness last night.
He was said to be too weak to report to the EFCC in preparation for his arraignment.
Sources said the commission was monitoring Mohammed’s health status.
Mohammed, according to sources, was implicated in the N31billion slush funds distributed to some PDP stalwarts for the 2015 election campaign by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
A former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd), a former Minister of State for Finance, Amb. Bashir Yuguda and eight others are currently on trial in two separate courts in the High Court of Justice of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Yuguda, in his statement, admitted paying about N300 million into the account of BAM Properties, which was provided by Haliru Mohammed.
It was gathered that the slush funds in BAM Properties’ account had been traced to the ex-PDP National Chairman and his son.
It was learnt that about N600million was credited to Abbah and he would have to explain in court how he came about it and the purpose.
A top level source who is familiar with the case said: “we have reached an appreciable bend in our investigation of the former National Chairman of PDP and his son, Abbah.
“Part of the $2.1billion meant for the purchase of arms has been traced to BAM Properties through authorization by the former PDP boss.
“All is now set for the prosecution of Haliru Bello Mohammed and Abbah Mohammed for their role in the diversion of funds meant for the procurement of arms in the office of the National Security Adviser.
“The EFCC has already filed charges against the two suspects at a Federal High Court in Abuja.
“Though the matter is yet to be assigned to a specific judge, the former minister and his son are most likely to be docked on a four-count money laundering charge on Tuesday, December 29 or Wednesday December 30.
“Abbah Mohammed is alleged to have received N600m from ONSA in the name of BAM Properties”
Responding to a question, the source added: “We have already arrested Abbah in preparation for his trial. He has made a useful statement; it is left to him to prove his innocence in court.
“As for the ex-PDP National Chairman, he is hooked up in a hospital in Abuja on medical grounds. We are keeping a close tab on him, including update on his health status.
“We will however prefer charges against him and his son. We hope he will be on his feet on time for his trial.”
In a Statement of Witness/ Caution which he wrote on oath, Yuguda admitted to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that he gave N600million cash to six chairmen of the Contact and Mobilization Committees of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) for the 2015 general Election.
He listed the beneficiaries as Bode George (South-West); Amb. Yerima Abdullahi (North-East); Peter Odili (South-South); Attahiru Bafarawa (North-West); Jim Nwobodo (South -East); North-Central (Ahmadu Ali).
George, Nwobodo and Odili have denied collecting cash from Yuguda.
Bode George admitted that only $30,000 was given to the South-West Contact and Mobilization Committee.
He also said he instructed Jabbama Limited to transfer N300million to BAM Properties whose account was given to him by a former National Chairman of PDP, Bello Haliru.
Only ex-Governor Attahiru Bafarawa admitted that he collected N100million from Yuguda through Sagir Attahiru.
The ex-Minister said: “For the cash disbursement of N600million, it was meant for the six zonal chairmen for Contact and Mobilization Committees for Election of 2015. The chairmen are Bode George (South-West); Amb. Yerima Abdullahi (North-East); Peter Odili( South-South); Attahiru Bafarawa( North-East); Jim Nwobodo( South -East); North-Central (Ahmadu Ali). The sum of N100million was given to each chairman. I gave the money in company of Prof. Alkali, who was Political Adviser to former President. The zonal chairmen are for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). I also instructed Jabbama Limited to transfer the sum of N100m to Dalhatu Limited on the request of Attahiru Bafarawa.
“I also remember that Bello Sarkin Yaki was among the people that the then NSA instructed that I send the sum of N200million to. He was the PDP gubernatorial candidate in Kebbi State.”
Yuguda, who claimed that he had liaised with Stallion Limited, gave the details of other disbursements.”
He added: “I knew the chairman of Stallion Limited whose second name I cannot remember. Between December 2014 to June 2015, on the instruction of the then NSA, I introduced Jabbama Limited to a staff of the company on the instruction of the chairman.
“When the account was in credit, disbursement was made from time to time on the instruction of the then NSA. Part in foreign exchange or transfers.
“I wish to add that sometime in February 2015, I instructed Jabbama to transfer the sum of N300m to BAM Properties. The account was given to me by Bello Haliru as one of the people the former NSA requested me to give money. I also remember that Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi was sent the sum of N100million on the instruction of the then NSA.
“Further to my statement of 30th November, 2015, I have brought the sum of $829,800(equivalent to N200m) and a N600m was given to me to distribute to the six PDP Zonal Committee chairmen. I don’t know who are the directors of Dalhatu Investment Limited but funds were transferred to the company’s account on the instruction of Dalhatu Bafarawa for the total amount of N1.5billion received from the then NSA by Jabbama Limited.
“I shall endeavour to recover the sum of N600million given to the six zonal PDP committee chairmen, while I appeal to the commission to use their machineries to trace the remaining balance of the money transferred to various accounts.”
The former Minister however denied receiving another N200million credited to him.
“I have been shown transaction of N200million from the Office of the Accountant-General to Jabbama which Jabbama said it’s on my instruction but I cannot remember this instruction until I crosscheck,” he said.
Some of the charges against Yuguda are: “That you Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki whilst being National Security Adviser and Shaibu Salisu, whilst being the Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the National Security Adviser, Bashir Yuguda whilst being the Minister of State for Finance between 5th February and 16th April 2015 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court entrusted with dominion over certain properties to wit: an aggregate sum of N1.1billion being part of the funds in the account of the National Security Adviser with CBN committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the said property when you transferred same to the account of Jabbama Ada Global Services Nigeria Limited for the purpose of financing the campaign of PDP in the 2015 general election and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 315 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 532, Vol.4, LFN 2004.
“That you, Bashir Yuguda whilst being Minister of State for Finance between 23rd December 2014 and 10th February, 2015 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court dishonestly misappropriated certain property to wit: an aggregate sum of $9,809,619 which was an equivalent of the aggregate sum of N1,950,000 belonging to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which sum was transferred to Jabbama Ada Global Services to be converted into the said dollars and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 309 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 532, Vol.4, LFN 2004.”