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How suspended Accountant-General swindled FG, EFCC reveals

By Sodiq Omolaoye, Abuja
30 July 2022   |   2:51 am
Fresh facts have emerged on how former Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, compromised the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Government Integrated Financial Management Information System

[FILES] Former Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris

Fresh facts have emerged on how former Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, compromised the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) and Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system (IPPIS) and carted away billions of naira belonging to the Federal Government.

Idris and his co-defendants Godfrey Olusegun Akindele and Mohammed Kudu Usman are standing trial in an N109 billion fraud before Justice A. O. Adeyemi Ajayi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Maitama, Abuja.

EFCC’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, made the revelation in a statement yesterday in Abuja.

Uwujaren disclosed that at the resumed trial of the case last Thursday, Chief Investigative Officer of the case and Prosecution Witness One, Hayatu Sulaiman Ahmed while being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), told the court that investigations by the EFCC showed that Idris while in office, compromised key units under his care like the TSA, GIFMIS and IPPIS that led to the loss of funds by the government.

He said Idris allegedly used the funds in constructing properties like the Gezawa Exchange Limited, Gezawa Integrated Farms and Kano City Mall.

The EFCC witness said: “We had cause to invite several individuals who had transactions with the Gezawa Commodity and Exchange Limited and found one Baita Ibrahim Kura of B I Kura Ibrahim, a Bureau de Change, (BDC) operator based in Kano.

We invited him and cautioned him and he voluntarily wrote a statement, claiming he made several payments like N208 million into Gezawa Commodity Market with Jaiz bank.”

The witness further told the court that Ibrahim also admitted to having paid the sum of N866 million to one Architect Mustapha Mukhtar of March Construction Limited for the construction of Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited.

“My lord, investigation showed that Ibrahim received United States dollars from the first defendant. We also found out that agitation from the nine oil-producing states, regarding derivation from the Excess Crude Account, was tabled before the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) and the committee came up with a figure of about $2.2 billion as what was due to the nine oil producing states, and this amount was to be deducted over a 60 months period on a quarterly basis,” he added.

The witness further told the court that 11.5 per cent of this figure amounting to N44.7 billion was put aside as payments to some public officials to facilitate payments to the oil-producing states.

“After the determination of this committee, my lord, some companies, Akindele and Co, a company owned by the second defendant, Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, was presented under the guise of consultancy.

“My lord, until recently, the second defendant, Akindele, was a staff in the office of the AGF and Technical Assistant to the first defendant. Investigation revealed that N84.39 billion was paid into Akindele’s bank accounts. According to the witness, another transaction occurred on February 12, 2021, with N21 billion paid into his account.”

The witness also revealed that aside from the payment of money that was made on February 12, 2021, other payments were made on May 6, 2021, and between July 28, 2021, and November 5, 2021, amounting to N94.39 billion.

Ahmed further told the court that funds were shared with some groups, including the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), represented by one of its Commissioners, Peace Akomas, former Deputy Governor of Abia State, who allegedly collected N18.8 billion. He said the money was withdrawn by Akindele and converted to U.S. dollars and handed over to Akomas.

“The second group is the AGF group and it got a total sum of N18.01 billion.

“The third group, the Commissioners of Finance in the nine oil producing states, received N21.4 billion. The money was withdrawn by Akindele, converted to U.S. dollars and handed over to Akomas on behalf of the group.

“The fourth group is called the Yari group. This group received N17.15 billion. The entirety of the sum was transferred to the account of Fimex Professional Services on the instruction of the representative of this group, Abdulaziz Yari, former Zamfara State governor.

“The remaining N8.9 billion was retained by the second defendant. Furthermore, N4.29 billion was converted to U.S. dollars by Akindele as appreciation for the consultancy contract, and the balance of N4.6 billion was given to Akindele.

Ahmed told the court that his disclosures were confirmed by the defendants in writing, in their statements admitting to having collected all the monies.

He also told the court that properties purchased with the funds by the first and third defendants were traced to various locations in Abuja, Kano and Minna, Niger State.

Earlier, Justice Ajayi admitted the defendants to bail on the terms earlier granted by the EFCC.

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