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Ex-AGF Idris says he thought he won’t be tried in alleged N109b fraud

Ex-AGF Idris says he thought he won’t be tried in alleged N109b fraud

Nigeria’s immediate past Accountant General of the Federation (AG-F), Ahmed Idris, has said he initially thought he would not be prosecuted for the alleged N109 billion fraud for which he and three others are facing trial.

Idris said he cooperated with Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) investigators by providing them with necessary information to help their probe in the belief that he would not be prosecuted.

The ex-AG-F said this in one of the 13 extra-judicial statements he made to EFCC investigators, which have been tendered before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), where he is being tried with others.

READ ALSO: EFCC arrests Accountant-General of Federation, Ahmed Idris, over alleged N80bn fraud

In the statement, dated May 25, 2022, he said: “All along, I have cooperated with the EFCC officials and have volunteered information to demonstrate my commitment to make the investigation as easier and speedy.

“Any statement I have made before or I am making now are based on my firm assumption, belief and understanding that by being open and aligning myself with statements made by principal suspects, such statements will not be used against me and eventually lead to my trial or prosecution.

“In view of foregoing statements, I wish to accept the net figure of N13.2 billion I am confronted with, subject to the reservations expressed in this statement.”

His lawyer, Chris Uche (SAN), has objected to the admissibility of the statements, claiming that investigators hoodwinked his client to make the statements, which contained some admissions.

READ ALSO: Ex-AGF Idris exposes complicit govt officials, as EFCC uncovers fresh N90b ‘fraud’

The EFCC is prosecuting Idris; his former Technical Assistant, Godfrey Olusegun Akindele; a director in the Office of the AG-F, Mohammed Kudu Usman; and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited (said to belong to Idris) on a 14-count charge bordering on stealing and criminal breach of trust to the tune of N109 billion.

At the last hearing in the ongoing trial-within-trial to ascertain whether or not Idris offered the statements voluntarily, Uche insisted that the investigators promised his client that he would not be prosecuted.

But one of the investigators who interrogated the ex-AG-F, Mahmoud Tukur, denied Uche’s claim.

Tukur, the immediate past Head of Chairman Monitoring Unit (CMU) II of the EFCC, testified as the second prosecution’s witness in the trial-within-trial on March 20.

READ ALSO: SAD: EFCC witness tells court how sacked AGF, cronies shared public funds

He said: “We did not promise him (Idris) anything.”

When the prosecuting lawyer, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, asked if Tukur promised that Idris would not be prosecuted, he said: “I never did. And, as the head of the unit, I can answer authoritatively to that. The first defendant was a senior public servant. He knows that it is not within my capacity to make such promises because my duty is just to investigate and report my findings.

“In all the statements he wrote, he was cautioned and part of the cautionary words is that whatever he wrote might be used as evidence in court.”

Another EFCC operative who was part of the investigation, Hayatudeen Suleiman, while testifying as the prosecution’s first witness in the trial-within-trial, also denied that such a promise was ever made to Idris.

 

 

Faruk Khalil
Faruk Khalilhttps://nigeriansketch.com/
Khalil Faruk (Deputy Editor-in-Chief), has a Bachelors and Master's degree in Political Science and has worked as a reporter, features editor and Deputy Editor-in-Chief respectively in a leading Nigerian daily. He has undergone trainings in journalism, photo journalism and online journalism within and outside Nigeria.

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