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Sunday, February 5, 2023

N109bn fraud: Court orders EFCC to seize former accountant-general Ahmed Idris’ N401.3m ($900k) and 15 houses

A Federal Capital Territory High Court has ordered the interim forfeiture of monies and properties recovered from a former Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The items include $899,900; N304, 490,160.95; and 15 properties in Kano and Abuja.

Recall that the EFCC is prosecuting Idris and other co-defendants over alleged N109 billion fraud at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), in Maitama, Abuja.

 

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His co-defendants are Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Usman, and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited. They face 14 charges of stealing and criminal breach of trust involving N109 billion in public funds.

The defendants were granted bail on 28 July by Justice J.O Adeyemi-Ajayi. The judge said that the defendants were entitled to bail in spite of the allegations levelled against them.

 A statement on Wednesday by EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, said Justice M.A Hassan gave the order on Tuesday while ruling on a motion exparte marked M/1149/2022 and filed by the commission.

The commission had asked the court for an order of interim attachment/forfeiture of the properties in the schedule to the application, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive case in charge No. FCT, HC/CR/299/2022, Federal Republic of Nigeria V. Ahmed Idris and Others.

In the supporting affidavit to the application deposed to by an operative of the EFCC, Monyei Ekene, the commission had requested the court to grant among others, an order approving the interim “management of the assets and properties in the schedule to this application to the applicant” pending the determination of the substantive case.

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The EFCC statement read, “Justice Hassan granted the motion as prayed but further ordered that the recovery account sought to be opened by the applicant shall be in the name of the commission as a recovery account and the details of the account shall be reported back to the court within one week of opening.”

 The properties linked to Idris which were listed in the schedule for forfeiture include Kano City Mall/Al Ikhlas Shopping Mall at Mandwawarti, Kano; a one-storey Shopping Complex at Ladanai, Kano; Corner Shops at Ladanai, Kano; a duplex at Karsana, Abuja; Royal Duplex at Deneji Quarters, Kano and a Duplex at Plot 271, New Jersey Street, Efab Blue Fountain Estate, Abuja.

Nine properties linked to the second respondent, Mohammed Usman, which are located in Abuja, Niger, and Nasarawa States, were also ordered forfeited in the interim.

They include plots of land with shops in Chanchaga Local Government Area of Niger State, 37 hectares of farmland with livestock located along Minna-Bida Road in Niger State, Bungalow flats at Gwarimpa, Abuja, Bungalow Buildings at Masaka, Nasarawa State, plots of land at Dutse Alhaji Abuja and 13 plots of land at Integrated City, Minna, Niger State.

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