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N109bn fraud: Ex-Accountant-General’s missing statement stalls trial

The trial of a former Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, on alleged N109 billion corruption charges, was yesterday, stalled at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) yesterday due to the missing statement.

The statement dated July 5, 2022, which the former AGF made to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) during the investigation, could not be located by the Anti-graft agency in its own file, as well as that of the defence team of the High Court.

At today’s proceedings, the anti-graft agency through its counsel Mr Oluwaleke Atolagbe had kick-started trial within a trial, following the denial by the ex-Accountant General that some of the statements he made to EFCC in respect of the N109 billion alleged fraud were made voluntary.

Idris, who was re-arraigned last October had persistently alleged that the key statements proposed by the EFCC to be used against him in the alleged corruption charges were made under duress.

Following the allegation, Justice Halilu Yusuf ordered a trial within a trial to authenticate the claim.

Although the EFCC had presented its witness, Mr Hayatudeen Suleiman, EFCC operative for examination on 13 different statements obtained from Idris, trouble however arose when it was discovered that a statement dated July 5, 2022, and said to be vital to the trial could not be found in the bundles of documents uploaded to the court by EFCC.

The trouble became worsened when EFCC seeking to examine the witness on the disputed statement could not find the statement in its own case file.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Chris Uche, leading the legal team of the former Accountant General also told the court that the statement was not part of those supplied to him by EFCC.

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