Ahmed Idris, the immediate former Accountant-General of the Federation, was arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged money laundering and diversion of public funds on May 16.
Idris, a Kano State native, is to be prosecuted for the diversion of at least N80 billion public funds allegedly laundered through the award of bogus contracts.
According to the EFCC, the funds from the contracts awarded have been traced to family members and close associates of the accountant-general.
Before his eventual arrest, the commission had continuously accused Idris of ‘dodging’ numerous invitations extended to him to answer questions bothering on misappropriation of public funds.
Following Idris’ arrest, Zainab Ahmed, the minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, announced his indefinite suspension on Wednesday.
Although Idris’ arrest has triggered a lot of reactions online, he is not the first Nigerian accountant-general linked to misappropriation of public funds. Below are a couple of others.
JONAH OGUNNIYI OTUNLA’S N2 BILLION FRAUD CASE
In June 2015, Jonah Ogunniyi Otunla, Idris’ immediate predecessor, was accused of money laundering by the EFCC.
Otunla, alongside eight others, was said to have diverted N2 billion from the account of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) while in office in 2013.
The anti-graft agency alleged that he withdrew the money from ONSA’s account purportedly for the supply of security equipment.
The agency further alleged that the fund formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity of Sambo Dasuki, a former National Security Adviser.
In February 2021, Bebia Victor Okangbe, lawyer to Otunla, claimed the federal government entered into ‘an oral non-prosecution agreement’ with his client so he could return some allegedly diverted public funds to the government.
IBAHIM DANKWAMBO’S AUTHORISATION OF N128 BILLION SUBSIDY PAYMENT
Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, a former Accountant-General of the Federation, who later became Governor of Gombe State, was accused by the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Subsidy Probe of making a questionable N128 billion fuel subsidy payment in 2012.
Dankwambo, who was appointed the Accountant-General of the Federation in 2005, was said to have made a N999 million payment 128 times within 24 hours in 2009.
Dankwambo was also alleged to have released Central Bank cheques reflecting the said amount to 128 purported oil marketers, raising doubts on how all the firms could have imported same volume of fuel and earned the same amount.
Dankwambo would later deny the allegation, stating that his office was not responsible for the payment of subsidy. He also disclosed that after he made some inquiries, he found that the statement used by the committee was that of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), which the AGF had no control over.