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“I Thought I Won’t Be Tried,” – Ex-AG-F Ahmed Idris On Alleged N109b Fraud

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The immediate past Accountant General of the Federation (AG-F), Ahmed Idris, has said he was under the belief that he would not be prosecuted in relation to the alleged N109billion fraud over which he is now being tried with three others.

Idris said he elected to cooperate with investigators from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and provide them with all the information they wanted to ease their investigation, with the belief that he would not be prosecuted.

The ex-AG-F said this in one of the 13 extra-judicial statements he made to EFCC investigators, which have now been tendered before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), where he is being tried with others.

He said, in the statement, dated May 25 , 2022: “All along, I have cooperated with the EFCC officials and have volunteered information to demonstrate my commitment to make the investigation as easier and speedy.

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“Any statement I have made before or I am making now are based on my firm assumption, belief and understanding that by being open and aligning myself with statements made by principal suspects, such statements will not be used against me and eventually lead to my trial or prosecution.

“In view of foregoing statements, I wish to accept the met figure of N13.2billion I am confronted with, subject to the reservations expressed in this statement.”

His lawyer, Chris Uche (SAN) has objected to the admissibility of the statements, claiming that his client was hoodwinked by the investigators to make the statements , which contained some admissions.

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Idris, his former Technical Assistant, Godfrey Olusegun Akindele; a director in the office of the AG-F, Mohammed Kudu Usman, and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited (said to be owned by Idris) are being tried by the EFCC on a 14-count charge bordering on stealing and criminal breach of trust to the tune of N109b.

At the last hearing in the ongoing trial-within-trial, being conducted to ascertain whether or not Idris offered the statements voluntarily, Uche insisted that the investigators promised his client that he would not be prosecuted.

But, one of the investigators, who interrogated the ex-AG-F, Mahmoud Tukur, denied Uche’s claim.

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Tukur, the immediate past Head of Chairman Monitoring Unit (CMU) II of the EFCC testified as the second prosecution’s witness in the trial-within-trial on March 20.

He said: “We did not promise him anything,” Tukur said in response to Uche’s claim.

Earlier, when asked by the prosecuting lawyer, Oluwaleke Atolagbe if he promised Idris that he (Idris) would not be prosecuted, Tukur denied ever making any promise to the former AG-F.

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Tukur said: “I never did. And, as the head of the unit, I can answer authoritatiively to that. The first defendant was a senior public servant.

“He knows that it is not within my capacity to make such promises, because my duty is just to investigate and report my findings.

“In all the statements he wrote, he was cautioned and part of the cautionary words is that whatever he writes may be used as evidence in court.”

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Another EFCC operative, Hayatudeen Suleiman, who was part of the investigation had, while testifying as the prosecution’s first witness in the trial-within-trial, also denied that any promise was made to Idris.

(The Nation)

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