ICPC seizes multi-million naira property ‘traced to Bauchi gov’

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it has seized a multi-million naira property allegedly owned by Bala Mohammed, governor of Bauchi state.

The anti-graft agency disclosed this in a statement published on its website on Tuesday.

It said the property houses Zinaria International School at Plot 298 Wuye District, Cadastral Zone B3, Abuja.

ICPC said its investigation found that the governor allocated the property to himself while serving as the minister of the federal capital territory, despite an existing right of the ministry of agriculture over the land.

Mohammed served as minister under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

The anti-corruption agency said it will request for the forfeiture of the property from a court of law.

“ICPC’s intelligence-led investigation revealed that Senator Mohammed in his official capacity as the FCT Minister, had allocated the said property to a school that had himself and family members as directors and shareholders, despite an existing right of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture over the land,” the statement read.

“To this end, the Commission will issue notices of seizure and shall cause them to be served on the appropriate land registry, ministry and department where the property is situated as required by law.

“Senator Mohammed had earlier been charged for using his office to confer corrupt advantage upon himself and relations under Section 19 of ICPC law but could not be arraigned before he was sworn in as Governor of Bauchi State.

“In view of the provisions of Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the charge which was pending before Hon. Justice Senchi of FCT High Court 13, Jabi, was withdrawn by the Commission to forestall its being struck out by the court suo moto.

“Following the notice of seizure, the Commission will apply to the court for an order of forfeiture under Section 48 of the ICPC Act in line with the Federal Government Policy focusing on recovery of proceeds of crime, pending when the tenure of the governor expires.”

Mohammed had served as senator representing Bauchi south in 2007.

He was appointed minister of FCT in 2010, under the leadership of Acting President Goodluck Jonathan.

Mohammed was elected governor of Bauchi during the 2019 governorship election in the state, under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

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