A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama heard on Tuesday that the suspended Accountant-General of the Federation (AG-F), Ahmed Idris voluntary returned about $900,000 part of the public funds he allegedly diverted.
The court also heard how N84.7billion was taken from the $2.2billion due to the nine oil producing states and shared by some senior government officials.
An official of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Hayatudeen Ahmed disclosed these while testifying at the trial of Idris and three others.
The suspended Accountant General; his former Technical Assistant, Godfrey Olusegun Akindele; a director in the office of the AG-F, Mohammed Kudu Usman and a firm linked with Idris – Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited – are being tried on a 14-count charge bordering on stealing and criminal breach of trust to the tune of N109.
Ahmed, who testified as the first prosecution witness and was led in evidence by Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) gave details of how his team investigated a petition in which Idris was accused of abuse his office and compromise government’s platforms like the Treasury Single Account (TSA), the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIVMIS) among others.
The witness said when Idris was confronted with facts, “he (Idris) returned $900,000 less $100 ($899,900) voluntary, which has now formed part of exhibit in the case.
He said out of the N84.7b that was shared among some government officials, N32b has-been recovered so far.
The witness also told the court how Idris allegedly hired his ex-aide, Akindele as a consultant to distribute N84.3bilion out of the N84.7b.
He said Akindele later gave Idris N4.2b in appreciation for his engagement as the consultant to handle the distribution of the money.
The witness said:
“After the petition was assigned to our team, investigation commenced. We wrote to banks, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and other several government agencies.
“From analysis of bank documents received, we discovered that a Baita Kura of B. I. Kura Enterprises, a bureau de change operator, made several deposits of money amounting to N280m between 2019 and 2021 into the account of the 4th defendant – Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Ltd.
“Based on this finding, Baita was invited. He admitted in his statement that those monies that he paid into the first defendant’s (Idris’) account, were given to him by the first defendant.
“We discovered that the payments made were on the instruction of the first defendant.
“We also discovered from other bank statements analysis that a certain Architect Mustapha Muktar, of Marcs and Construction Ltd, received various sums from Baita Kura, amounting to about N866m.
“Based on this, we invited Architect Mustapha, who gave statement and explained that the money he received from Baita were on the instruction of the first defendant.”
The witness said Mustapha said Idris asked him to use the money for the construction of the Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange in Gezawa Town, Kano.
He said in the course of investigation, his team learnt of agitation by the nine oil producing states about the lack of deductions of 13 per cent derivation accrued to them from the Excess Crude Account.
“It was discovered further that this agitation was tabled before the Post-mortem sub-committee of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).
“The committee deliberated on the request and came up with a figure of about $2.2b US dollars as what was due to the 9 oil producing states. And, that deductions for this payment would be made over a 60-month period.
“A total of 11.5 percent of the total sum, which is equivalent N84.7b was set aside as facilitation for some public officials to approve and release the request, this was done under the guise of consultancy.
“The services of Olusegun Akindele & Co, a firm belonging to the second defendant (Akindele) was used for this purpose.
“The proprietor of Olusegun Akindele & Co is the second defendant – Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, who was until recently a staff of the office of the AG-F and a Technical Assistant to the first defendant.
“The account of Olusegun Akindele & Co received the cumulative sum of N84.3b, representing 9.8 percent, less taxes from the 11.5percent that was set aside earlier.
“He received the money in his First Bank account, from the FAAC withheld Escrow account, under the control of the first and third defendants (Idris and Usman).