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Fresh Trouble For Mohammed Abacha Over Alleged N4446.3bn Loot

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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SAN FRANCISCO, April 10, (THEWILL) - It is not yet uhuru for Mohammed, the son of the late military Head of State, Sani Abacha, as the Federal Government has slammed a fresh nine-count charge against him for allegedly receiving about N446.

3billion allegedly stolen from government's coffers between 1995 and 1998.

The alleged offences are said to be punishable under sections 317 and 319 of the Penal Code.

The Federal Government, in the fresh charge, is accusing Mohammed of 'dishonestly receiving stolen property' and 'voluntarily assisted in concealing money.

' The fresh charge replaced the 121 - count charge in which he was earlier charged along with Atiku Bagudu, who has now been excluded from the fresh charge.

The new charge marked CR.
21-24/2008 listed the stolen money allegedly received by Mohammed, and which he was accused of concealing to include 141,100,000 pound sterling and $384,353,000 made up of cash and travellers cheques.

The charge dated February 24, 2014 was filed by a private prosecutor, Daniel Enwelum, who is prosecuting the case on behalf of the Federal Government and upon a fiat dated February 18, 2014 issued to him by the Attorney General of the federation.

When the case came up for hearing on Thursday, Mohammed could not be arraigned before Justice Mamman Kolo of the Abuja High Court because he was nowhere to be found.

Enwelum told the court that, even when Mohammed had been served with the charge, with evidence to that effect contained in a sworn affidavit by the court's bailiff, he had refused to attend court for him to be arraigned.

He said the new charge which now excluded Bagudu, who was charged with Mohammed, was filed pursuant to Section 181 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) as an amendment to the earlier charge.

Enwelum urged the court to accept the fresh charge and deemed the receipt of the charge by the defence lawyer, on behalf of the accused person, as proper service.

He said the lawyer, Abdulllahi Haruna, had promised to receive the charge for his client.

Haruna said Mohammed was absent in court because he was not aware of the new charge.

He urged the court to adjourn the case to a further date to enable his client attend court.

Bagudu's counsel, Rickey Tarfa (SAN), urged the court to grant an order discharging his client from the earlier charge in view of the prosecution's decision to exclude him from the new charge.

Enwelum, in reaction to Tarfa's application, argued that it was unnecessary for the court to make a specific order discharging Bagudu from the charge since the government had already excluded him from the amended charge.

Justice Kolo in his ruling however allowed the amended charge as he also granted an order discharging Bagudu from the charge and adjourned to April 29 for Mohammed's arraignment.

In count one, Mohammed was alleged to have between August and December 1995 at Abuja, dishonestly received $36,480,000.

00 made up of cash and travellers cheques property of the Federal Government, believed to have been stolen.

Count two alleged that Mohammed, between August and December 1995 at Abuja, voluntarily assisted in concealing $57,960,000.

00 believed to have been stolen from the Federal Government.

Count three alleged that he, between October and December 1996 at Abuja, dishonestly received $26,913,500.

00 believed to have been stolen from the federal Government.

The prosecution alleged in count four that Mohammed, within the same time, voluntarily assisted in concealing $26,913,500.

00 allegedly stolen from the Federal Government.
Count five alleged that he, sometime in June 1997 at Abuja dishonestly received $10,000,000.

00 believed to have been stolen from the Federal Government.

He was, in count six, said to have, between February and December 1997 dishonestly received $87,000,000 and 41,143,000 pounds sterling believed to have been stolen from the Federal government.

Count seven accused him of voluntarily assisting in concealing the amounts mentioned in count six.

Mohammed was accused in count eight of dishonestly receiving, between January and August 1998 , $167,000,000 and 99,957,000 pound sterling, believed to have been stolen from the Federal Government.

Count nine accused him of voluntarily assisting in concealing the amount mention in count eight.