N80BN fraud: EFCC uncovers 17 properties linked to accountant-general

0
zeb

 

Ahmed Idris, the suspended federal Accountant General, has been linked to 17 properties in Nigeria and overseas by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which arrested him on 16 May over alleged N80 billion fraud.

Before his latest alleged heist, a report by federal Auditor General Adolphus Aghughu had documented how he withdrew N1.695 trillion from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) in the 2019 financial year without approval.

 

The report also indicted 42 Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) for overshooting their personnel budget to the tune of about ₦1,241,137,873,164.36 without approval by National Assembly (NASS).

The report, referenced AuGF/AR.2019/01, dated 18 August 2021, and signed by Aghughu, was submitted to the Clerk of the NASS for onward transmission to the Public Accounts Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives.

However, a report by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says federal lawmakers themselves are stealing from the treasury. So it is a case of lawmakers thieves investigating other thieves.

Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed suspended Idris on 18 May over the alleged N80 billion but the ministry Ahmed superintends is equally mired in corruption as the audit report filed by Aghughu says N3.14b is missing in the ministry.

 

An EFCC officer, a detective who wished to remain anonymous, said the 17 properties traced to Idris are located in Kano, Lagos, Abuja, Dubai, and London.

He said preliminary investigations showed that he bought the properties through proxies who would need to be invited by the graft buster.

“About 17 houses in London, Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Dubai have been traced to him. In Abuja, some of the houses are located in serviced estates,” the source said, per reporting by The PUNCH.

From all indications, he stressed, Idris acquired the properties while in office without declaring them to the Code of Conduct Bureau as stipulated by law.

The EFCC announced in a statement on 16 May that it arrested Idris over alleged fraud 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.

“The funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja,” the statement said.

Other deals exposing Idris

Idris came under scrutiny in 2021 following allegations that he offered huge sums of money to a family to secure the marriage of their daughter aged 16.

Nura Bagudu, uncle of the teenager, told The PUNCH that Idris offered properties and gifts to the girl and her family and later lodged complaints with the federal government.

“He told the young lady to go to Abuja and choose any house she wanted and he would buy it for her,” Bagudu recounted.

Idris also launched in 2021, Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited of which he openly claimed ownership.

He disclosed it when he received a delegation of Kano Concerned Citizens Initiative led by its then Chairman, Bashir Tofa, now deceased. The project is worth a huge sum of money far greater than his income as a civil servant.

An EFCC official told The PUNCH the legal department is already getting an order to remand Idris as well as an order of interim forfeiture on some of his properties pending the completion of investigation.

Suspension letter

The letter Ahmed wrote to Idris on his suspension warned him not to visit the office at any time, in line with the public service rules.

“Following your recent arrest by EFCC on allegations of diversion of funds and money laundering, I write to convey your suspension from work without pay effective May 18, 2022,” part of the letter said.

 

 

vgn news