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Former AGF, Ahmed Idris Alleges that EFCC Deceived him into Admitting Involvement in N109bn Fraud

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By Uche Amunike

 

Former Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, has alleged that he was deceived by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), into admitting that he is involved in a N109bn fraud, adding that the EFCC told him that they wanted to use him to get to the Minister of Finance and some other governors.

 

He is currently standing trial, alongside his co-defendants on 14 charges of stealing and criminal breach of trust to the tune of N109.5bn. They are Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Kudu Usman, as well as a firm, Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited.

 

Speaking through a statement written by Ahmed Idris and partly read out in court by the prosecution witness, Hayatudeen Ahmed, the former AGF said that the EFCC made him a promise not to use whatever information he gives against him. The prosecution witness was asked to read the statement during his cross-examination by Idris’ counsel, Chris Uche (SAN).

 

After reading it, Hayatudeen stated that such assurances was not given, neither was he under duress. His words: ‘There was no such assurance. The statements made by Idris on the 25th, 26th, and 31st of May 2022 and that made on the 1st, 6th, 10th, 20th of June 2022, and 5 July 2022 were made willingly by the defendants contrary to the claims that they were allegedly made under duress by the defendants.’

 

When the hearing started on Thursday, counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, made an application to tender Video evidence that had a recorded interview of the 1st to 3rd defendants at the commission’s Monitoring Unit Chairman’s office as an exhibit before the court.

 

He told the court that the video clip ought to be tendered in order to counter the claim by the defendants that they were interrogated in the absence of their lawyer and without video recordings and in accordance with the Administration of Criminal Justice Act/Laws.

 

The counsel for Ahmed Idris, however objected to admitting of the video clip. He noted that he had just received it a day before the hearing and would need time to know what was the content and the compact disc device sent to him. While other councils aligned themselves with his submission, Justice Yusuf Halilu overruled their objections in a brief ruling.

 

Hear him: ‘Admissibility and value are two different things. A document once admitted can also be useless or otherwise. The Defendants did not give reasons the video should not be admitted but complained about the time they were served. This video is hereby admitted as evidence.’

 

After listening to the cross examination, Justice Halilu adjourned the trial to March 20, 2024, after dismissing his initial order revoking the bail of Geoffrey Akindele, one of the defendants in the trial.

 

Akindele is the second defendant in the case and is standing trial alongside Mohammed Kudu Usman and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited on 14 charges that border on diverting public totaling N109.5bn.

 

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