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Alleged N109b fraud: Court adjourns trial of Accountant General, others

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has explained how its investigators got evidence from the suspended Accountant General of the Federation (AG-F) Ahmed Idris.Information Guide Nigeria

The investigators got the evidence while probing his alleged involvement in the diversion of about N109 billion in public funds.

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Speaking at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), an investigator with the EFCC, Hayatudeen Ahmed said that Idris voluntarily offered written statements to the commission when confronted with facts of the agency’s investigations on the fraud allegation against him.

Hayatudeen Ahmed spoke during the commencement of the trial-within-trial ordered by the court to ascertain the veracity of the claims by lawyers to Idris.

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According to Ahmed, Idris averred that the defendant was pressured by the EFCC to make the statements.

Ahmed who was led in evidence by the prosecution lawyer, Oluwaleke Atolagbe gave details of how Idris voluntarily made 13 statements, mostly in the presence of his lawyers.

According to THE NATION, Idris; his former Technical Assistant, Mohammed Kudu Usman (a director in AG-F’s office); Godfrey Olusegun Akindele; a director in the Office of the AG-F as well as Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited, are being tried by the EFCC on a 14-count charge bordering on stealing and criminal breach of trust to the tune of N109 billion.NYSC Portal

The first prosecution witness, Ahmed revealed how Idris voluntarily returned about $900,000 part of the public funds he allegedly diverted.

Ahmed also told the court how N84.7 billion was taken from the $2.2 billion meant for nine oil-producing states and shared by some senior government officials.

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Ahmed’s move to tender statements made by Idris and the other defendants in support of the witness’s testimony was stalled by Uche, who claimed that Idris was hoodwinked by EFCC’s investigators to make the statements.

But Ahmed told the court yesterday how Idris, on his own volition, made the statements to EFCC investigators.

The prosecution witness said Idris volunteered his statements between January 22 and June 27, 2022, stressing that on many occasions, Idris wrote the statements in the presence his lawyers.

According to the witness, Idris’s statement was again taken on May 21, 2022 in the investigation on his alleged involvement in alleged N4 billion fraud.

Ahmed added: “The first defendant made the statement voluntarily in the presence of his lawyer. At the end, the lawyer signed as the witness. The lawyer’s name is Oduduabasi Itue from Paul Erokoro’s Chambers.

THE NATION reports that another lawyer, Paul Erokoro (SAN) witnessed another statement made by Idris on June 1, 2022.

Ahmed added that Idris also made another statement on June 10, 2022 and it was witnessed by one of the ex-AG-F’s associate, Alhaji Badamasi.

After Ahmed explained how Idris provided his statements voluntarily, Uche noted that the statement of on July 5 was not part of the proof of evidence served on his team by the prosecution.

Additionally, the trial judge and lawyers averred that the statement Idris made on July 5, 2022 was not before the court.

Reacting to this, Atolagbe checked his file and said the omission of the statement was an error.

Atolagbe said he also omitted to include the statement in his case file, sought an adjournment to enable him rectify the error.JAMB Result

Justice Halilu adjourned further proceedings till May 11, 2023.

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Idongesit Akpa-Ayang

Idongesit is a graduate of Communication Arts, University of Uyo. Currently working as a news reporter at InfoGuide Nigeria.

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