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N109bn Fraud: EFCC Denies Asking Ex-accountant General to Indict Minister

A detective with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mahmud Tukur, denied promising the former Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, leniency in exchange for indicting the former Minister of Finance and others.

The former Accountant General of the Federation had told the Federal Capital Territory High Court on February 1, 2024, that the EFCC deceived him to admit to the allegations against him.

The ex-AGF specifically claimed that the EFCC told him they wanted to use him to get the Minister of Finance and some governors to receive derivation funds.

Idris and his co-defendants are standing trial on 14 charges of stealing and criminal breach of trust to the tune of N109.5bn.

Idris was arraigned alongside Godfrey Akindele, Mohammed Kudu Usman, and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited by the EFCC in July 2022.

However, at the proceedings, Tukur, who was the second prosecution witness in the trial-within-trial, denied that the commission made such a promise to Idris.

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.

Led in evidence by EFCC counsel, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, Tukur insisted that all the 13 statements involving Idris and his lawyers were voluntarily made.

He added that the ex-AGF was interviewed in the presence of his lawyers before filing 11 statements at different times.

Tukur added that two out of the 13 confessional statements were volunteered willingly with Idris waiving his right to have a lawyer present.

He said, “Idris signed on the back of the page of the statement sheet and it was witnessed by Barrister Haruna Isa.

The statement of May 21, 2022, was written by Idris.

“The statement of July 5, 2022, was made by the first defendant in the presence of Mr Gbenga Adeyemi. He was cautioned, interviewed, before those volunteered statements.”

While being cross-examined by the ex-AGF’s lawyer, Chris Uche (SAN), Tukur said the EFCC had a standard procedure for getting a statement from a suspect.

He said, “My lord, he(Idris) requested that he wanted to come and volunteer his first statement, and at the management level, it was approved. At that time, he was the serving AGF. It was based on his request my lord.”

The witness, however, admitted that the EFCC did not send a letter of invitation to Idris following the second statement he made.

The witness said he would not know if Idris’ statement in Kano on May 10, 2022, was done in the presence of his lawyer as he was not there.

When quizzed about promising the ex-AGF soft-landing, Tukur described the allegation as “absolute falsehood”.

“I never promised him that he would not be prosecuted.

“ I never did as a unit head and the first defendant is a very senior civil servant, in my capacity I can not do that. “

The trial judge, Justice Yusuf Halilu, adjourned till May 15 for the continuation of trial-within-trial.

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