Yesterday, July 4, former FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, filled a motion before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Gudu District, seeking the retrieval of his personal effects from his house.
Mohammed through his legal counsel, Mr. Frank Molokwu, is praying the FCT Court to grant him entry into his house located at No. 1, Mukhtar Street, Asokoro, Abuja, which had been sealed off by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) since May 2016, to enable him and other members of his household retrieve personal effects at the residence.
Mr. Mohammed is seeking to retrieve from the house 35 sets of ‘babaringa’, 15 pieces of perfumes, 50 sets of leather handbags, 65 pairs of shoes, over 35 boxes of clothes, bed sheets, kitchen utensils and a BMW car.
Mohammed, in the application filed on June 7, 2017, contended that he and his entire family members, as well as his domestic aides, were residing in the six-bedroom duplex at No. 1, Mariam Mukhtar Street, Asokoro, Abuja, until it was sealed off by the EFCC in May 2016.
A supporting affidavit deposed to by a domestic aide to the former minister, Mr. Umar Usman, stated that the sealing off of the property was impromptu, and as a result, the family members moved to a guest house and have been surviving on few personal effects they had to purchase out of desperation.
Usman further averred that, “That there are numerous items belonging to the family members trapped in the property, which if not recovered would be lost and constitute a huge economic loss to the respective owners.
“That further to that, the personal effects of the defendant/applicant’s children namely: Fatima Bala Mohammed, Hauwa Bala Mohammed and Maimuna Bala Mohammed are trapped in the property.
“That numerous gifts secured by the defendant/applicant’s wife, Mrs. Lami Bala Mohammed in respect of her charity/humanitarian works, meant for distribution to the less-privileged during this Ramadan period are currently trapped in the property.”
The affidavit also stated that “none of the personal properties of the defendant/applicant” was connected with the charges preferred against the ex-minister and the proof of evidence”.
It added that, “That the defendant/applicant and his family have been suffering a lot of hardship as a result of the deprivation”.
Mohammed therefore prayed for, “an order granting the defendant/applicant and his family members entry to his premises currently sealed off by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, in order to retrieve his personal effects and those of other members of his family.”
The prosecuting counsel, Mr. Ben Ikani said he would respond to the application.
He, however, added that the application should not be allowed to stall proceedings in the matter.
Juustice Abubakar Talba said he would pass his verdict on the motion in the next hearing.