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Nigeria: Court remands former defence minister on corruption charges

Nigeria: Court remands former defence minister on corruption charges


A federal High court in Nigeria has remanded the former defence minister on charges of corruption. Haliru Bello Mohammed, acting leader of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) was charged along with his son Abba Mohammed Bello, for embezzlement and money laundering in Abuja.

In an amended charge dated December 30, 2015, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, said the former minister and his son would have received 300 million naira (1.4 million euros) under the previous administration.

Bello and his son, Abba, are alleged to have conspired by using the firms, BAM Projects and Properties Limited, to withdraw the 300 million naira from an account of the ‎Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) operated with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The fund was said to have been transferred to the accused persons by the former National Security Adviser, NSA, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), in less than 2 weeks to the 2015 presidential election.

The former defence minister’s lawyers urged the court to grant him bail on self recognition. They told the court that he was recuperating from a spinal cord surgery and had previously been granted administrative bail by the EFCC.

“He was brought to this court this morning straight from his hospital bed in an ambulance. Is this the kind of person that can take a flight if granted bail? The answer is no,” said Bello’s lawyer.

The court did not grant them bail and adjourned the case to Thursday to rule on their application.

The Inspector General of Police, IGP Solomon Arase, is said to have been asked to monitor Haliru Bello in an Abuja clinic where he is recuperating.