Hayatu Ahmed, chief superintendent of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says Ahmed Idris, suspended accountant-general of the federation, diverted public funds by compromising government account systems.
He listed the account systems as the Treasury Single Account (TSA), government integrated financial management information system (GIFMIS), and the integrated payroll and personnel information system (IPPIS).
Idris, Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, and Mohammed Kudu Usman are standing trial over alleged N109 billion fraud.
According to a statement by Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesman, at the sitting at the federal capital territory (FCT) high court on Thursday, Ahmed, the chief prosecuting officer, told the court that EFCC investigations showed Idris diverted TSA, GIFMIS and IPPIS funds.
The witness also told the court that the funds allegedly diverted by the suspended accountant-general were linked to properties such as the Gezawa Exchange Limited, Gezawa Integrated Farms, and Kano City Mall.
“We had cause to invite several individuals who had transactions with the Gezawa Commodity and Exchange Limited and found one Baita Ibrahim Kura, of BI Kura Ibrahim, a Bureau de Change operator based in Kano,” Ahmed was quoted as saying.
“We invited him and cautioned him and he voluntarily wrote a statement, claiming he made several payments like N208 million into Gezawa Commodity Market with Jaiz bank.”
Ahmed also told the court that Ibrahim admitted to have paid the sum of N866 million to one Mustapha Mukhtar of Marsc Construction Limited for the construction of Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange limited.
“My Lord, investigation showed that, Ibrahim received United States dollars from the first defendant. We also found out that agitation from the nine oil-producing states, regarding derivation from the excess crude account, was tabled before the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) and the committee came up with a figure of about $2.2 billion as what was due to the nine oil producing states, and these amount was to be deducted over a 60 months period on quarterly basis,” the investigating officer said.
The EFCC witness also told the court that 11.5 percent of the figure, amounting to N44.7 billion, was used to pay some public officials to facilitate payments to oil-producing states.
“After the determination of this committee, my lord, some companies, Akindele and Co, a company owned by the second defendant, Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, was presented under the guise of consultancy,” Ahmed said.
“My lord, until recently, the second defendant, Akindele, was a staff in the office of the AGF, and technical assistant to the first defendant. Investigation revealed that N84.39 billion was paid into Akindele’s bank accounts.”
The EFCC officer said another N21 billion was paid into Akindele’s account in February 2021, adding that other payments were made in 2021, amounting to N94.39 billion.
Ahmed told the court that funds were shared to some groups and individuals, including one Peace Akomas of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), who was said to have collected N18.8 billion.
“The second group is the AGF group and it got a total sum of N18.01 billion,” Ahmed said.
The third group, the Commissioners of Finance in the nine oil-producing states, received N21.4 billion. The money was withdrawn by Akindele, converted to US dollars and handed over to Akomas on behalf of the group.
“The fourth group is called the Yari group. This group received N17.15 billion. The entirety of the sum was transferred to the account of Fimex Professional Services on the instruction of the representative of this group: Abdulaziz Yari, former Zamfara state governor.
“The remaining N8.9 billion was retained by the second defendant. Furthermore, N4.29 billion was converted to US dollars by Akindele as appreciation for the consultancy contract, and the balance of N4.6 billion was given to Akindele.”
The EFCC officer added that the properties purchased with the funds by the first and third defendants were traced to various locations in Abuja, Kano, and Niger states.