By Uche Amunike
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested Ahmed Idris, Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), over money laundering and diversion of public funds to the tune of N80bn.
This was announced, Monday, by the commission’s Head of Media, Wilson Uwujaren.
According to the statement issued by Uwujaren, the AGF used bogus consultancies and other illegal activities to rake off the funds, which investigations have shown to be linked to family members, proxies and close associates.
They were also laundered through real estate investments in Abuja and Kano, according to the statement.
Ahmed Idris, Accountant General of Nigeria, the statement indicated, refused to honour the repeated summons by the EFCC to respond to the above issues bordering on the fraudulent activities allegedly carried out by him, thereby, leading to his arrest.
Part of the statement read: ‘ Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, May 16, 2022, arrested serving Accountant General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris in connection with diversion of funds and money laundering activities to the tune of N80 billion.’
‘The Commission’s verified intelligence showed that the AGF raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.’
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Ahmed Idris, Accountant General of the federation on June 25, 2015 shortly after the former AGF, Jonah Otunla vacated office on June 12, 2015.
Even though labour groups strongly ruled against Idris being reappointed as AGF and pushed that he retired, having turned 60, President Buhari went ahead to approve him for a second four-year term.
His second four-year term was an action that militated against the Civil Service rule which stipulates that career civil servants must retire from service after having worked for 35 years or after attaining 60 years of age. It was also against a memo from the Office of the Head of Service to all Nigerian Government agencies which states thus:
‘For avoidance of doubt and in order to maintain discipline and integrity of the extant public service rule which prescribed 60 years of age or 35 years of service for mandatory retirement, should strictly be complied with.’
‘Accordingly, the following guidelines shall apply. (I) that career officers who take up tenured appointment should at the point of taking up the appointment retire from service to ensure they run their term uninterrupted.
‘(II) that career officers who have not retired from service before the commencement of their tenured appointment must leave office on attainment of mandatory age/years of service for retirement and (iii) that career officers who are currently holding tenured appointment are required to retire from service with immediate effect and continue to run their term.’
‘Failure to do so would mean that they would vacate office on attaining the mandatory age or at the expiration of their term whichever comes first.’
Mr Idris, a native of Kano State, North-west Nigeria, was born on November 25, 1960, and was until his appointment in 2015 the Director of Finance and Accounts, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
Idris is a chartered accountant with over two decades of work experience. A Fellow of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria and Fellow, Association of Financial Analysts of Nigeria.
He is a member of other professional bodies including the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, the Certified Institute of Cost Management of Nigeria, and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.