How A-GF Stole Nigeria’s Money

By Gaaden Puun, Abuja

Amidst lingering crisis over unpaid wages of University teachers by the Federal Government, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has revealed how former Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris cornered #109.5bn government money.

The agency said Idris had compromised the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), the Integrated Payroll system and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

Idris and his co-defendants – Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, and Mohammed Kudu Usman are standing trial in a N109.5 billion fraud.

They were arraigned before Justice A. O. Adeyemi Ajayi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja.

Last Thursday, the Chief Investigative Officer and Prosecution Witness One, PW1, Hayatu Sulaiman Ahmed was led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN.

Ahmed, an EFCC Chief Superintendent told the court that the investigations showed that Idris allegedly used stolen funds to construct the Gezawa Exchange Limited, Gezawa Integrated Farms, and Kano City Mall, own by the A-GF.

“We had cause to invite 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 he voluntarily wrote a statement, claiming he made several payments like N208million into Gezawa Commodity Market with Jaiz bank”, he said.

Ibrahim admitted to having paid the sum of N866 million to one Architect Mustapha Mukhtar of Marsc Construction Limited for the construction of Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange limited.

The EFCC said investigations further exposed how Ibrahim received United States dollars from Ahmed.

“We also found out that agitation from the nine oil-producing states, regarding derivation from the excess crude account, was tabled before the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).

“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 ”

The witness said 11.5% 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.

Afterwards, some companies including Akindele and Co, a company owned by the second defendant, Godfrey Olusegun Akindele was presented under the guise of consultancy.

Until recently, Akindele was a staff in the office of the AGF, and Technical Assistant to Ahmed.

It was found that N84.39 billion was paid into Akindele’s bank accounts. Another transaction occurred on February 12, 2021, with N 21 billion paid into his account.

Other payments were made on May 6, 2021, and between July 28, 2021, and November 5, 2021, amounting to N94.39 billion.

The funds were shared with the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), represented by one of its Commissioners, Peace Akomas.

The former Deputy Governor of Abia State allegedly collected N18.8 billion. The money was withdrawn by Akindele and converted to US dollars and handed over to Akomas.

The second group called the AGF group 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 US 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 EFCC operative added

“The sum was transferred to the account of Fimex Professional Services on the instruction of the representative, Abdulaziz Yari, former Zamfara governor.”

The remaining N8.9 billion was retained by Akindele; N4.29 billion was converted to US dollars by him as appreciation for the consultancy contract and received the balance of N4.6 billion.

The properties purchased with the funds by the first and third defendants were traced to various locations in Abuja, Kano, and Minna, Niger State.

Justice Ajayi granted the trio bail on Thursday and adjourned to August 10 and 11, 2022.

Idris was granted bail in the sum of N18 billion, and two sureties – one should be a Permanent Secretary and the other a Federal Director – N100,000,000 bond each.

Akindele was admitted to bail in the sum of N20 billion and two sureties with the same conditions.

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