By Wandoo Sombo/Mabel Yakubu
Abuja – The Federal High Court, Maitama Abuja, on Friday granted Shamsudeen Bala, son of former FCT Minister, Mr Bala Mohammed, bail in the sum of N100 million.
The presiding judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, also ordered Bala to produced two sureties in the sum of N50 million each, as part of the bail condition.
The defendant is also to deposit his international passport with the court and must not travel without the permission of the court.
The judge further ordered that the defendant should remain in prison custody until he perfects his bail condition.
Bala, alongside four other companies, was arraigned on Feb. 1 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on a 15-count charge, bordering on money laundering to the tune of N1.1 billion.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was remanded in prison custody, pending the ruling on his bail application.
At the resumed hearing, Justice Dimgba said that he was disposed to granting him bail since the offences he was accused of were bailable.
Dimgba said that the court had consistently held that every citizen brought before the court was presumed innocent until proven otherwise and as such entitled to bail.
The judge added that the prosecution had failed to prove that the defendant was a flight risk.
“A sufficient case has not been made by the prosecution to show that the defendant will jump bail or commit another offence if released on bail.”
Dimgba also noted that the charge preferred against the defendant was silent on whether the N1.1 billion in question originated from a private or public account or was part of corrupt proceeds.
.The prosecutor, Mr Larry Aso, had opposed the bail application on the grounds that the defendant had refused to provide the EFCC with his bio data and finger prints.
Aso told the court that this was indicative of the fact that his character was not to be trusted as he was likely to frustrate the trial and jump bail if granted.
The matter was adjourned till March 27 and 28 for hearing.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Bala was arraigned together with four companies, Bird Trust Agro Allied Ltd, Intertrans Global Logistics Ltd, Diakin Telecommunications Ltd, and Bal-Vac Mining Nigeria Ltd.