N109bn fraud: EFCC Utilizing me to Bait Former Finance Minister, Others – Ex-AGF Alleges
The previous Accountant Common of the Federation (AGF) Ahmed Idris, has accused the Financial and Monetary Crime Fee (EFCC) of tricking him into admitting to stealing over N109 billion from public treasury.
The ex-AGF claimed that the EFCC advised him they needed to make use of him to get on the a former Minister of Finance and a few state governors.
Idris and his co-defendants are standing trial on 14 prices of stealing and prison breach of belief to the tune of N109.5 billion.
Idris was arraigned alongside Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Kudu Usman, and a agency — Gezawa Commodity Market and Alternate Restricted.
However the trial court docket Decide, Yusuf Halilu had at earlier sitting ordered a trial -within- trial following claims by the defendant that his assertion have been made below duress.
An announcement mentioned to be written by Idris and dated Could 16, 2022, was partly learn out by the prosecution witness, Hayatudeen Ahmed, in court docket on Thursday.
Within the mentioned assertion, the ex-AGF had said that the EFCC promised him that no matter info he gave wouldn’t be used in opposition to him.
The prosecution witness learn the assertion after being requested to take action whereas being cross-examined by Idris’ counsel, Chris Uche (SAN).
After studying the assertion, the prosecution witness said that such assurances weren’t given, and neither was the defendant below duress.
He mentioned, “There was no such assurance. The statements made by Idris on the twenty fifth, twenty sixth, and thirty first of Could 2022 and that made on the first, sixth, tenth, twentieth of June 2022, and 5 July 2022 have been made willingly by the defendants opposite to the claims that they have been allegedly made below duress by the defendants.”
Earlier, when the listening to commenced on Thursday, the counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), utilized to tender video proof that contained a recorded interview of the primary to 3rd defendants on the Fee’s Monitoring Unit Chairman’s workplace as an exhibit earlier than the court docket.
The prosecution counsel advised the court docket that the video clip sought to be tendered was to counter the declare by the defendants that they have been interrogated within the absence of their lawyer and with out video recordings in accordance with the Administration Of Prison Justice Act/Legal guidelines.
Counsel for Idris, nevertheless, objected to the admissibility of the video clip, noting that it was simply despatched to him a day earlier than the listening to and that he would wish time to know what was contained within the compact disc machine despatched to him.
Different counsels aligned themselves with Uche’s submission. Justice Yusuf Halilu nevertheless. overruled their objections.
The choose mentioned, “Admissibility and worth are two various things. A doc as soon as admitted will also be ineffective or in any other case. The defendants didn’t give causes the video shouldn’t be admitted however complained in regards to the time they have been served. This video is hereby admitted as proof.”
The witness then advised the court docket that there was no deception on the a part of investigators whereas taking statements from the previous AGF.
In keeping with him, the video made after investigation established that the primary to 3rd defendants benefitted from non-existent consultancy from the Workplace of the Accountant-Common of the Federation.
Underneath cross examination by Uche, the witness mentioned legal professionals of the three defendants weren’t current when investigators interviewed them on Could 25, 2022.
He admitted that Idris made a few of his statements to EFCC within the absence of his lawyer, one Gbenga Adeyemi, whereas some have been made within the presence of the lawyer.
After listening to the cross examination, Justice Halilu adjourned the trial to March 20, 2024.
The trial choose vacated his preliminary order revoking the bail of Geoffrey Akindele, one of many defendants within the trial.
The defendants are going through 14 prices bordering on diversion of public funds to the tune of N109.5 billion.