The Bauchi State Governor-elect, Senator Bala Mohammed, will be arraigned on Monday (today) by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on fresh six count charges of failure to declare his assets and false information.
According to information sent by court registrar to the EFCC Director of Legal Services and Prosecution, Chile Okoroma, obtained by The Punch on Sunday, Mr. Mohammed will be arraigned in Court 26 at the FCT High Court, Maitama in Abuja.
“He will be arraigned on six counts bordering on false declaration of assets and giving false information to the EFCC. There are some properties he bought which he did not disclose to the EFCC but were discovered. The details will be unveiled when the charges will be read to him. A renowned legal practitioner and the EFCC counsel, Wahab Shittu, has been assigned to prosecute Bala Mohammed, before a new judge,” a source in the commission told the newspaper.
Count five of the charges to be read to the accused reads, “That you Bala A. Mohammed on or about October 24, 2016 at the head office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Abuja within the judicial division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory made a false statement to the detective, Ishaya Dauda, investigating officer with the Economic Governance Section of the EFCC, Abuja to wit: that you acquired house situate at No. 2599 and 2600, Cadastal Zone AO4 Asokoro District Abuja through a mortgage facility from Aso Savings & Loan Bank Plc and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 09 (2) (a) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004 and punishable under Section 39(2)(b) of the same Act.”
Interestingly, the governor-elect had recently said that his trial by the EFCC was politically-motivated, vowing rather to probe his predecessor once he is sworn in.
He said, “It is completely politically-motivated but I believe in justice and that was why I went to the court of justice. Definitely! Because of the evidence that we have, he is going to be thoroughly probed because I have not been spared by the Federal Government. I have been under probe by the EFCC and because I believe in accountability and was influential in the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, I chose not to run away.
“I will stand and answer all questions. I have passed the first battle by winning my case against the Federal Government on human rights, for arbitrarily imprisoning me and then calling me names. Of course, N5m has been awarded in my favour and the next one is the other spurious charges against me. I believe in justice and equity.
“And if the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has discovered some documents which shows that over 2,000 ghost workers have been inputted into the salaries and arrears of Bauchi State in the last four years and over N400bn has come to Bauchi and we cannot see anything that has been done for N5bn, if I don’t do it (probe him), then I have abdicated my responsibility.”
Mr. Mohammed, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, had won the Bauchi State governorship election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in March, defeating the incumbent Governor of the state, Mohammed Abubakar, of the All Progressives Congress (APC).