Business - News - May 18, 2022

UPDATED: Alleged N80bn fraud: Embattled Accountant General sent on indefinite suspension

By Bassey Udo

The embattled Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, was on Wednesday asked to proceed immediately on an indefinite suspension over allegations of involvement in a over N80 billion fraud.

The directive for the Accountant General’s suspension was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, and communicated to him by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed..

Spokesperson to the Minister, Tanko Abdulahi who confirmed the suspension in Abuja said the directive was issued at the end of the weekly Executive Council of Federation meeting.

Idris is to remain suspended from office indefinitely until investigations about his complicity in the alleged mismanagement and misappropriation of the monay have been concluded.

“The Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, has been suspended from office with immediate effect. The suspension order by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, was approved by the President, Muhammadu Buhari. His suspension will be indefinite until investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have been concluded,” the Minister’s spokesperson said.

An extract from the letter No.HMFBNP/AGF/SUSPENSION/5/2022 and dated May 18, 2022 conveying the suspension order said “the suspension became necessary to allow for proper and unhindered investigation into the serious allegations in line with Public Service Rules 030406.

The letter by the Minister addressed to Idris reads; “Following your recent arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on allegations of diversion of funds and money laundering, I write to convey your suspension from work without pay effective 18th May, 2022.

“During this period, you are not expected to attend your place of work or contact any official in your Office, except for any disciplinary hearing that may be advised.

“It is expected that you will strictly comply with any instructions that will be forwarded to you in your current location or your known recorded address as stipulated in the extant rules.”

On Monday, the spokesperson of the anti-graft agency, the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren announced the arrest of the AGF over the alleged fraud.

Uwujaren said in a statement that the agency’s operatives picked Idris up in connection with alleged diversion of funds and money laundering activities valued at abour N80billion.

“The Commission’s verified intelligence showed that the AGF raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates in Kano and Abuja.

“The funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja,” Uwujaren said.
He said Idris was arrested after failing to honour several invitations by the agency for him to respond to issues connected to the alleged fraud.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The report was updated with the latest available information. Thank you.

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