~ Additional N90bn Stolen By Ahmed Idris ~
Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as part of the ongoing probe of the suspended Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, has traced N90 billion more allegedly looted from the Federation Account, according to SaharaReporters.
The anti-graft agency had earlier arrested the former AGF in connection with N80 billion allegedly stashed away. With the new discovery, a total of N170 billion fund looted has been traced him.
Idris, who was battling for bail on Sunday night has opened up and identified some top government officials allegedly involved in some transactions.
Idris has since been suspended indefinitely for proper investigation to be carried out into the fraud allegations against him.
The PUNCH investigation reported that EFCC grilled a Permanent Secretary in connection with some “deals in which Idris was implicated”.
According to the report, the anti-graft agency was also closing in on a minister who was fingered in the allegations against the suspended AGF.
It was learnt that Idris was arrested after he shunned 80 invitations by the EFCC.
An investigation by the paper reported that detectives of the EFCC had made startling discoveries about some transactions in the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF).
There were indications that the AGF had made a commitment to the EFCC to refund some cash to the coffers of the government.
A reliable source, who spoke in confidence, said:
“So far, the EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa and his team have made substantial progress.
“This is one of the biggest scandals that Bawa’s administration has uncovered.
“Based on preliminary investigation, the suspended AGF now will account for N170billion. Detectives are still digging more into his activities in office.
“Since his arrest on May 16, he has made useful disclosures including some suspicious accounts and transactions.”
It was gathered that the AGF has also made available a list of government officials having to do with some financial activities in OAGF.
The source added:
“As part of his disclosures during the investigation, a Federal Permanent Secretary was invited and interrogated by the EFCC last week.
“The Permanent Secretary is presently on bail and his movement restricted to Abuja. The Permanent Secretary has made a useful statement to investigators.
“A minister was also implicated.
“We have to verify whether or not the links with the minister were real or maybe the suspect was just desperate to rope in others.”
The source gave insight into why Idris was trailed to Kano to arrest him.
“From records, the suspended AGF was invited by the commission about 80 times but for reasons best known to him, he shunned EFCC’s request for interaction. He was just evasive.
“He was later trailed to Kano where he was picked up on May 16. He was still in custody as of yesterday but he has been offered bail.
“He needs to fulfil the conditions for bail and he has been battling to do so on Sunday.”
In a statement on May 16, the Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said the arrest of Idris followed his alleged refusal to honour the invitation.
The statement said:
“Operatives of the EFCC, on May 16, arrested serving Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris in connection with diversion of funds and money laundering activities to the tune of N80billion only.
“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.
“The funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja.
“Idris was arrested after failing to honour invitations by the EFCC to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts.”