Alleged N109bn Fraud: Ex-Accountant General’s missing statement stalls trial

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The trial of a former Accountant General of the Federation, AGF, Ahmed Idris, on alleged N109 billion corruption charges was stalled at the Federal Capital Territory High Court due to the loss of one of the statements he made to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) during an investigation.

The statement dated July 5, 2022, could not be found either in the file of the EFCC or that of the High Court and the defence team. At the day’s proceedings, the counsel for the EFCC, Mr Oluwaleke Atolagbe had started trial within trial, following the denial by the ex-Accountant General that some of the statements he made to EFCC in respect of the fraud were made voluntary.

Idris, who was re-arraigned last October had alleged that the key statements proposed by the EFCC to be used against him in the alleged corruption charges, were made under duress. Following the allegation, Justice Halilu Yusuf ordered a trial within trial to authenticate the claim. Trouble, however, arose when it was discovered that a statement dated July 5, 2022, and said to be vital to the trial could not be found in the bundles of documents uploaded to the court by the EFCC.

Counsel to Mister Idris, Chris Uche, also told the court that the statement was not part of those supplied to him by EFCC. The EFCC’s lawyer subsequently asked for an adjournment to enable him search for the missing statement and serve on the defendant as required by law.

Justice Halilu Yusuf thereafter fixed May 11, for continuation of trial within a trial, stating it was at the instance of the EFCC.

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