The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has obtained a court order to detain the suspended Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, accused of N80bn fraud, for more days.
An EFCC of official who craved anonymity disclosed that the legal department of the commission secured the order within 24 hours after Idris was arrested in Kano.
Although the detective did not state the court where the order was obtained, he explained that they have been relying on the order to keep him in their custody pending the conclusion of their investigation.
“He is still here with us, he has been cooperating. We will get to the root of the matter. The good thing is that our legal department has secured a court order helping us to hold him till we conclude our investigations,” Daily Trust quoted the source to have said.
When asked about when he would be released, the official said Idris may be charged to court anytime, saying “evidence at our disposal is damning”.
He added that some of the properties linked to him in Abuja, Lagos and Kano might be forfeited temporarily, noting that the commission will also push for their permanent forfeiture to the federal government.
The Federal Government on Wednesday announced the suspension of the embattled accountant-general with a view to allowing a thorough investigation.
In a letter conveying Idris’ suspension, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed warned the embattled public official not to visit the office at any time.
According to her, the accountant-general’s suspension was in line with the public service rules.
“Following your recent arrest by EFCC on allegations of diversion of funds and money laundering, I write to convey your suspension from work without pay effective May 18, 2022,” the letter partly read.
Efforts to reach the spokesman of the commission, Wilson Uwujaren, proved abortive as several calls pulled across to him did not connect.
Meanwhile, the anti graft agency has traced at least 17 properties to Idris, as investigation on his financial dealings continue.
An official of the EFCC, who wished to remain anonymous, said the properties traced to Idris are located in Kano, Lagos, Abuja, Dubai and London.
He, however, said preliminary investigations showed that the nation’s chief accountant allegedly used proxies to buy some of these properties. The commission would therefore need to invite some of the proxies of the accountant-general.
The detective added that from all indications, these properties were purchased while Idris was in office and did not declare them before the Code of Conduct Bureau as stipulated by law.
He added, “About 17 houses in London, Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Dubai have been traced to him. In Abuja, some of the houses are located in serviced estates.”
The EFCC had in a statement on Monday announced the arrest of the accountant-general for fraud to the tune of N80bn.
The statement read in part, “The commission’s verified intelligence showed that the AGF raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates. The funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja.”
It was learnt that Idris came under scrutiny last year following allegations that he offered huge sums of money to a family in order to secure the marriage of their 16-year-old daughter.
The uncle of the teenager, Nura Bagudu, had said in an interview that the accountant-general offered properties and gifts to the young lady and her family and had lodged complaints to the Federal Government.
Idris had in 2021 launched Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited which he had openly admitted to owning.
Idris stated this when he received a delegation of Kano Concerned Citizens Initiative led by its late Chairman, Alhaji Bashir Tofa. The project is said to be worth huge sums of money which is far more than his income.
An EFCC official said the legal department was already getting an order to remand the accountant-general and get an interim forfeiture on some of his properties pending the completion of investigations.