EFCC gets court order to detain ex-FCT minister, grants Abati bail

By Wahab Akanji, Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured a court order to detain a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Sen. Bala Mohammed and a former Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Dr. Reuben Abati.The anti- graft agency however granted bail to Abati but he was yet to meet the conditions for such reprieve.

The bail terms included getting sureties who must be a civil servant at the directorate level with landed properties in Abuja.

It was learnt that if Abati cannot meet the bail conditions, he might remain in the custody of the EFCC.

The agency has seized the passport of Abati as at the time of filing this report.

A reliable source in the commission said it was necessary for the EFCC to obtain a court order to detain the ex-Minister because he has a lot of fraud allegations to clarify.

It was gathered that Bala Mohammed was confronted with many official documents showing approval of some funds and allocation of many plots of land.

The source added: “The former Minister has more days to spend with us because there are a lot of allegations against him which he ought to clarify.

“We have secured a court order in order to keep him legally with us. We have some other suspected official accomplices under investigation too. We may need to interrogate them with the ex-Minister.

“We have uncovered a lot of mess in the FCT. We hope the ex-Minister will cooperate with our team or else, we may extend the detention order. If he responds to all issues as fast as possible, we will grant him bail.”

Sen. Bala Mohammed was arrested in connection with alleged N1billion fictitious contracts.

Mohammed was also being questioned on alleged allocation of 12 choice plots to his son running into billions of Naira; 37 other commercial plots of land worth about N8billion to his suspected front called Tariq Hammoud, and the controversial N1trillion Abuja land swap.

A mansion allegedly worth N782million, belonging to the ex-Minister, has been placed under Interim Assets Forfeiture.

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