The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied reports that one of the statements made by Ahmed Idris, the former Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), during the investigation into the alleged N109 billion fraud was missing.
According to media reports on Wednesday, the former Accountant General’s trial was halted at the Federal Capital Territory’s (FCT) High Court after it was discovered that one of his statements during the EFCC investigation was missing from both his legal team file and those of the court and the EFCC.
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However, the anti-graft agency debunked the reports on Thursday, saying that no document on the case file was missing, and that a trial within a trial has begun on Idris and other defendants’ statements to determine whether the defendants’ statements to the EFCC were obtained voluntarily.
On October 27, 2022, Idris was re-arraigned alongside Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Usman, and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited on 13 counts relating to alleged misappropriation of N109 billion.
On November 23, 2022, the court adjourned the hearing in the case after the former AGF’s counsel objected to further evidence by prosecution witness, Hayatudeen Suleiman, who had been cross-examined on 13 of Idris’ statements.
He was testifying on the 13th statement already presented to the court when the defense objected, claiming that the statement was obtained under duress from the defendant.
The EFCC stated in a statement that the trial resumed on Wednesday for a trial within a trial to prove the voluntariness, or otherwise, of the defendants’ statements, adding that an attempt by the defence counsel, Chris Uche (SAN), to argue the first defendant’s contention that his statements were obtained under duress was objected to by the prosecution’s Leke Atolagbe.
According to the EFCC, Atolagbe argued that it was the prosecution’s burden to prove that the defendants’ statements were obtained voluntarily, and the court agreed with him.
“However, proceedings could however not continue after the defence counsel, Uche, SAN observed that the 13th statement obtained on 5th July, 2022, on which the prosecution counsel sought to examine his witness, was omitted from the proof of evidence front-loaded to the court by the prosecution.
“The prosecution acknowledged the inadvertent omission and sought for an adjournment to produce the statement. The trial has been adjourned until May 11 by Justice Halilu Yusuf.”
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