Alleged N109.5bn: EFCC never made any promises to ex-AGF, witness tells court



An officer of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Mahmoud Tukur, told the FCT High Court that the commission did not promise not to prosecute the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris.

Tukur made this known on Wednesday while testifying as the second prosecution witness in trial- within- trial to verify the willingness of the statements by Idris (1st defendant).

The trial-within-trial was ordered by the court following the objection raised by counsel for Idris, Chris Uche, SAN, alleging that his client did not make his statements to the EFCC voluntarily.

Idris Ahmed alongside Geoffrey Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Kudu Usman and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited, are standing trial on a 14-count charge bordering on stealing, fraudulent diversion of public fund to the tune of N109.5 billion.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them.

In his evidence led by the prosecution counsel, Mr Oluwaleke Atolagbe, the witness said Idris’ first statement was voluntarily made on Jan. 22, 2022.

He told the court that the allegations began as a result of a petition written by a group called ‘ Treasury concerned staff .’

He added that the group alleged that Idris abused his office and used the proceeds to acquire property in Kano.

” This statement was at the preliminary stage of the investigation and it was the 1st defendant that approached the Commission himself requesting to be heard on Jan. 22, 2022.

” Although, the team was not ready for such, the Commission however obliged him. We listened to him and told him whatever he says would be documented.

” Two other operatives were with me. He came to our office without a lawyer.

“By my thinking, coming without a lawyer means he was waiving his rights,” he said.

He told the court that Idris was given administrative bail.

On May 16, 2022, he said Idris was arrested in Kano and brought to Abuja because he refused to respond to messages and calls put across to him by the EFCC.

He added that he came in the company of his security officer, Yusuf Aro and he wrote a statement and was detained.

On May 17, Haruna Isa, a director of legal services from the AGF’s office was present and he wrote his statements.

He said the defendant also wrote statements on May 21 , May 23, 25, 26 and May 31, 2022 in the presence of Odudu Ituen from Paul Erokoro’s chambers.

Being cross examined by defence counsel, Uche, the witness insisted that he never promised not to prosecute the defendant.

According to him, the cautionary words was written by an EFCC officer .

After the cross examination of the witness, the prosecution counsel Atolagbe told the court he had two more witnesses to call.

He however told the court that the witnesses were not available and prayed for an adjournment, Uche did not object to that.

Justice Yusuf Halilu then adjourned until May 15 for the witnesses to testify. (NAN)


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