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Ex-Accountant General’s missing statement stalls trial in alleged N109bn fraud



 Ex Accountant General s missing statement stalls trial in alleged N109bn fraud

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

The statement dated July 5, 2022, could not be located by EFCC in its own file, in that of the high court as well as that of the defence team.

At yesterday’s proceedings, the anti-graft agency through its counsel, Mr. Oluwaleke Atolagbe, had kick-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 suit were made voluntary.

Idris, who was re-arraigned last October, had persistently 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 had ordered a trial-within-trial to authenticate the claim.

READ ALSO: EFCC recovers N30bn from suspended AGF, Ahmed Idris, to auction 150 mansions

Although, the EFCC had presented his witness, Mr. Hayatudeen Suleiman, to tender 13 different statements, 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 at the court by EFCC.

The trouble became worst when EFCC seeking to examine the witness could not find the statement in his own case file.

Responding, Idris’ lawyer, Chief Chris Uche, told the court that the statement was not part of those supplied to him by EFCC, adding that the anti-graft agency had suppressed some documents and that the missing statement of the defendant may be one of the suppressed documents.

Similarly, the said documents could not be found in the court’s file, forcing EFCC’s lawyer to request for an adjournment on the grounds that the statement is vital to his case.

After consultation amongst lawyers, Justice Yusuf fixed May 11, for continuation of trial-within-trial, adding that the adjournment was at the instance of the EFCC.

The commission had on October 27, 2022 re-arraigned Idris on a 13 count charge bordering on alleged misappropriation of the sum of N109 billion.

Others arraigned alongside were: Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Usman and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited.

They were first arraigned on July 22, 2022, before a vacation judge, Adeyemi Ajayi.



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