NIGERIA’S accountant-general Ahmed Idris has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in connection with diversion of funds and money laundering said to be to the staggering tune of N80bn ($192.65m).
Mr Idris was intercepted in Kano by EFCC operatives yesterday evening and has been flown to Abuja for interrogation. Apparently, the companies used to launder the funds have allegedly been linked to family members and associates of the accountant-general, according to investigators.
For a while, the EFCC has been investigating the case now and had summoned Mr Idris repeatedly to answer questions about his involvement in the fraud. However, he refused to honour the invitations, leading to the decision to have him arrested.
EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwujaren, said: “We kept inviting him but he kept dodging us. We were left with no choice than to keep him under watch and arrest him. Mr Idris was arrested after failing to honour invitations by the EFCC to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts.
“The commission’s verified intelligence showed that the accountant-general raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates. These funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja.”
President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Mr Idris accountant-general on June 25, 2015. The position became vacant at the time after the former accountant-general, Jonah Otunla, left office on June 12, 2015.
In June 2019, President Buhari re-appointed Mr Idris for a second four-year term amid criticisms from labour groups who said the accountant-general should retire after turning 60. Mr Idris, a native of Kano State, was born on November 25, 1960,and was until his appointment in 2015 the director of finance and accounts in the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.