Justice A. O. Adeyemi Ajayi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Maitama Abuja, remanded the suspended Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris and his co-defendants: Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Kudu Usman in Kuje Correctional Centre pending the determination of their bail applications.
The trio were arraigned alongside a company, Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited, on a 14-count charge bordering on gratification, abuse of office and money laundering to the tune of over N109 billion fraud.
Count one of the charges reads, “That you, Ahmed Idris, between February and December, 2021 at Abuja, in the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, being a public servant by virtue of your position as the Accountant General of the Federation, accepted from Olusegun Akindele, a gratification in the aggregate sum of N15,136,221,921.46 ( Fifteen Billion, One Hundred and Thirty Six Million, Two Hundred and Twenty One Thousand, Nine Hundred and Twenty One Naira and Forty Six Kobo), which sum was converted to the United States Dollars by the said Olusegun Akindele and which sum did not form part of your lawful remuneration but as a motive for accelerating the payment of 13% derivation to the nine (9) oil producing States in the Federation, through the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, and you, thereby, committed an offence contrary to Section 155 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and punishable under the same section”.
Count eight reads, “That you, Ahmed Idris, while being the Accountant General of the Federation, and Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, while being the Technical Assistant to the Accountant General of the Federation, between February and November 2021, at Abuja, in the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, in such capacity, entrusted with a certain property, to wit: N84,390,000,000(Eighty-Four Billion, Three Hundred and Ninety Million Naira) committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the said property when you dishonestly received the said sum from the Federal Government of Nigeria through Godfrey Olusegun Akindele trading under the name and style of Olusegun Akindele & Co., and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 315 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.”
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them. Following their pleas, counsel to the 1st and 4th defendants, Chris Uche SAN, made an oral application for the bail of his clients, urging the court to allow the 1st defendant to continue with the administrative bail given to him by the EFCC.
Counsel to 2nd and 3rd defendants, P.D Abalaka and J.A. Abah, also filed their bail applications and aligned themselves with the submission of the first defendant.
However, counsel for the prosecution, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, opposed the oral bail applications, insisting that it must be done in writing, adding that asking the defendants to return home without arguing their bail applications in writing would be sending the wrong message to the society.
In a ruling, Justice Ajayi held that “the court is not a puppet to dance to the rhythm of public opinion. “In the interest of justice for all, they are remanded in prison custody”.
The Judge thereafter adjourned until July 27, 2022 for hearing and determination of the bail applications.