The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, May 16, 2022 arrested serving Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris in connection with diversion of funds and money-laundering activities to the tune of N80billion.
This development has brought to the fore how the civil service rules were breached in the reappointment of the AGF for another four years, on June 25, 2019, a year to attaining 60 years of age. He turned 60 on November 25, 2020. He should have been retired.
Mr Ahmed Idris, who hails from Kano State, was born on November 25, 1960. He served as the Director of Finance and Accounts at the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and was until his appointment as AGF on 25th of June 2015, the Director of Finance and Accounts, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
It was reported then that about 20 eligible candidates were eventually dropped to pave the way for his appointment.
Even a protest by the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, who said Alhaji Idris was a civil servant who must be bound by the civil service rules, and should immediately retire from office having attained the 60-year retirement age, did not stop the re-appointment of the AGF.
The Accountant General of the Federation is the administrative head of the country’s treasury. The office holder is appointed by the President of Nigeria to serve a four-year term in accordance with the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.
The office was established in 1988 under the Civil Services reorganization Decree No. 43 of the constitution of Nigeria.
The office holder is charged with the responsibility to manage receipts and payments of the Republic of Nigeria and to ensure that a proper system of account exists in every department of the nation’s treasury and to exercise general supervision over the receipts of public revenue and over the expenditure of the Federal Government.
According to the EFCC, “verified intelligence showed that the AGF raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.”
Media reports alleged that the arrested AGF owned Gezawa Commodity Market Limited and Gezawa Integrated Farms Limited, among others.
This has further lent credence to the allegations made by concerned citizens and some stakeholders on how and where the AGF got the money he used in acquiring the multi-billion naira firms, both in Kano through his direct family members.
It was also reported that the shareholdings of both firms indicate a spread of Idris’ family members on the official board.
As of the time of this report, the AGF who was arrested on Monday in Kano, was being moved to Abuja by the Commission where further interrogation would be conducted into his activities in office.
The discovery of the monumental financial heist which is coming in the twilight of the Muhammadu Buhari administration has sent positive signals to the world about the rekindling of the waning Buhari’s anti-graft crusade.
THE CONCLAVE reports that the Commission may have received the marching orders from President Buhari to beam the searchlight on administration officials and expose those whose hands have been caught in the cookie jar of financial malfeasance.
For AGF, his reappointment, when he was supposed to have been retired, was corrupt and aided his illegal perpetuation in office and unconscionable perpetration of financial rape of the nation’s treasury through diversion, money laundering and other corrupt means.
THE CONCLAVE reports that Nigerian are giving kudos to the EFCC, as they expect to see more of the AGF kind of investigation leading to culpability and arrests across board and no matter whose ox is gored.
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