Court Remands AGF Idris In Prison Over Alleged Diversion Of N109.4 bn - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Friday, July 22, 2022

Court Remands AGF Idris In Prison Over Alleged Diversion Of N109.4 bn


 • Idris


| The Daily Crucible | Friday, July 22, 2022

A High Court sitting in the Federal Capital Territory has remanded the suspended Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, in prison custody in connection with illegal diversion of public funds to the tune of N109.4 billion.

Idris and three others were brought to court on Friday morning and arraigned before justice A.O. Adeyemi - Ajayi on a 14-count charge bordering on conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, and money laundering.

The quartet are facing a 14-count of stealing and criminal breach of trust to the tune of N109, 485,572,691.9.

They all - Mr Idris and three others – Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Usman and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited,  pleaded not guilty to the 14 charges when read to them during the hearing before the trial judge.

This followed their arraignment by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Earlier, the EFCC prosecuting lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), had asked the judge to grant the prosecution leave to bring a criminal charge against them under section 109 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (2015) (ACJA).

The judge, Ms Adeyemi-Ajayi, granted the application as prayed by the prosecution.

Then a court official read out the 14 counts, which the defendants denied.

However, after the pleas of the defendants were taken, Mr Idris’ lawyer, Chris Uche, a senior advocate, made an oral application for the bail of his client but Mr Jacobs opposed it, arguing that the application must be done in writing.

But Mr Uche pleaded for the release of his client pending the filing of a written application for his bail.

He urged the court to consider that the defendants had been on administrative bail granted him by the EFCC.

“Since there is no complaint that they have breached any of the conditions, they should be allowed to continue on that bail,” Mr Uche said.

In a ruling, the judge held that “the court is not a puppet to dance to the rhythm of public opinion.

“In the interest of justice for all, they are remanded in prison custody,” Ms Adeyemi-Ajayi said.

The suit was adjourned until July 27 for the hearing of the defendants bail application.

Justice Ajayi remanded Idris and other defendants in the money laundering matter.

The Judge said they should be kept in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service till Wednesday next week when their bail applications would entertained.

The Daily Crucible reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had in a release on Thursday, stated that Count one of the charge reads: “That you, Ahmed Idris between February and December, 2021 at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, being a public servant by virtue of your position as the Accountant General of the Federation accepted from Olusegun Akindele, a gratification in the aggregate sum of N15,136,221,921.46 ( Fifteen Billion, One Hundred and Thirty Six Million, Two Hundred and Twenty One Thousand, Nine Hundred and Twenty One Naira and Forty Six Kobo) which sum was converted to the United States Dollars by the said Olusegun Akindele and which sum did not form part of your lawful remuneration but as a motive for accelerating the payment of 13% derivation to the nine (9) oil producing Sates in the Federation, through the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 155 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and punishable under the same section.”

Also, Count eight of the charge reads: “That you, Ahmed Idris while being the Accountant General of the Federation and Godfrey Olusegun Akindele while being the Technical Assistant to the Accountant General of the Federation between February and November 2021, at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, in such capacity, entrusted with certain property, to wit: N84,390,000,000 (Eighty-Four Billion, Three Hundred and Ninety Million Naira) committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the said property when you dishonestly received the said sum from the Federal Government of Nigeria through Godfrey Olusegun Akindele trading under the name and style of Olusegun Akindele & Co., and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 315 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.”

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