Damilola Aina, Abuja
Daily Courier – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has marked at least 17 properties linked to the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris.
This comes as Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, has suspended Idris, who is being investigated for N80 billion in fraud.
The properties related to Idris are located in Kano, Lagos, Abuja, Dubai, and London, according to an EFCC official who requested anonymity.
He, however, stated that preliminary investigations showed that the nation’s chief accountant allegedly used proxies to buy some of these properties.
He added that the commission would therefore need to invite some of the proxies of the accountant-general.
From all indications, these properties were purchased while Idris was in office and did not declare them before the Code of Conduct Bureau as stipulated by law, according to The Punch.
The source said, “About 17 houses in London, Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Dubai have been traced to him. In Abuja, some of the houses are located in serviced estates.”
The EFCC had in a statement on Monday, May 16, announced the arrest of the accountant-general for fraud to the tune of N80 billion.
“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.
“The funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja,” the statement read in part.
In addition, the accountant-general had in 2021 established Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited, which he openly admitted to owning.
Idris confirmed this during a meeting he had with a team from the Kano Concerned Citizens Initiative, led by its late Chairman, Alhaji Bashir Tofa.
The project is reported to be worth millions of dollars, significantly more than his monthly salary.
The legal department has already received an order remanding the accountant-general and obtaining an interim forfeiture on some of his assets awaiting the conclusion of the inquiry, according to an EFCC official.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government on Wednesday announced the suspension of the accountant-general in order to allow for a seamless investigation.
In a letter conveying Idris’ suspension, the Minister of Finance cautioned the embattled public official not to visit the office at any time, adding that the suspension was in line with the public service rules.
The letter titled, ‘Letter of Suspension’ read in part, “Following your recent arrest by EFCC on allegations of diversion of funds and money laundering, I write to convey your suspension from work without pay effective May 18, 2022.”