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Ex-Accountant General’s Missing Statement Stalls Trial in Alleged N109Bn Fraud



The trial of a former Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris on alleged N109 billion corruption charges was on Wednesday stalled at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) due to missing of one of the statements he made to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) during investigation.

The statement dated July 5, 2022, could not be located by EFCC in its own file, that of the High Court as well as that of the defence team.

At Wednesday’s proceedings, the anti-graft agency through its counsel Mr Oluwaleke Atolagbe had kick-started trial within trial, following the denial by the ex- Accountant General that some of the statements he made to EFCC in respect of the N109 billion alleged fraud were made voluntary.

Idris, who was re-arraigned last October had persistently alleged that the key statements proposed by the EFCC to be used against him in the alleged corruption charges were made under duress.

Following the allegation, Justice Halilu Yusuf had ordered a trial within trial to authenticate the claim.

Although, the EFCC had presented its witness, Mr Hayatudeen Suleiman, EFCC operative for examination on 13 different statements obtained from Idris, trouble however arose when it was discovered that a statement dated July 5, 2022, and said to be vital to the trial could not be found in the bundles of documents uploaded to the court by EFCC.

The trouble became worsened when EFCC seeking to examine the witness on the disputed statement could not find the statement in its own case file.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Chris Uche, leading the legal team of the former Accountant General also told the court that the statement was not part of those supplied to him by EFCC.

Uche said that the anti-graft agency for reasons best known to it, had suppressed some documents and that the missing statement of the defendant may be one of the suppressed documents.

“We came fully prepared for this case to be substantially dealt with but unfortunately, EFCC appears to be dragging us back by not putting its house in order.

“If it were a civil matter, I would have asked for a cost of N5M for our precious time wasted by the prosecution”.

Efforts by Justice Halilu Yusuf to salvage the situation were unsuccessful as the statement could also not be found in the court’s record.

At this point, the EFCC’s lawyer who insisted that the statement is vital to his case, applied to Justice Yusuf to grant him an adjournment to enable him search for the missing statement and serve on the defendant as required by law.

After consultations amongst lawyers Justice Yusuf fixed May 11, for continuation of trial within trial.

The court made it clear that the adjournment was at the instance of the EFCC.

EFCC had on October 27, 2022 re-arraigned Idris on a 13 count charge bordering on alleged misappropriation of the sum of N109 billion.

Others arraigned alongside are Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Usman and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited.

They were first arraigned on July 22, 2022, before a vacation judge, Adeyemi Ajayi.

The EFCC alleged that between February and December, 2021 Idris accepted from Akindele, a gratification of N15. 1 billion, which sum was as a motive for accelerating the payment of 13 per cent derivation to the nine oil producing sates in the Federation, through the office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

The anti-graft agency also alleged that N84. 3billion from the Federal Government’s account was converted by the first and second defendants between February and November. 2021.

The EFCC said the offence contravened sections 155 and 315 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.

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Nigeria News

Gov. Sule of Nasarawa State wins second term bid



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), have declared

The incumbent Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr Abdullahi Sule of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) winner of last Saturday’ governorship election in the state.

Governor Sule, who was declared winner on Monday morning, defeated the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, David Umbugadu, by a margin of 64,193 to emerge winner.

While declaring the result, the INEC Collation Officer, Prof. Tanko Ishaya, said Sule scored 347,209 votes to defeat his closest rival David Umbugadu of People’s Democratic party (PDP), who polled a total of 283,016 votes.

Candidate of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) Abdullahi Maidoya came third with 11,726 votes, while that of Social Democratic Party, (SDP) Mohammed Alfa Nyas got 9003 votes.

According to INEC, Sule won seven out of the 13 Local Government Areas in the state.

The state Collation Officer, said the total number of registered voters were 1,899,244, while the number of accredited voters were 668,978

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Abia APGA rejects Governorship Poll results as Labour Party leads



The results of the March 18 governorship poll in Abia state has been rejected by the All Progressives Grand Alliance. The Independent National Electoral Commission has so far announced results in 10 LGAs. In a statement signed on Monday by the APGA Chairman Abia State, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, the party said it would not accept an election “marred by irregularities.” It, however, urged supporters to remain calm as they await the conclusion of the process. The statement read partly, “The results so far announced did not in any way reflect the will of the good people of Abia voters as demonstrated at the various polling units.“We are highly disappointed that the votes cast for our candidate, Professor Greg Ibe, were suppressed and not credited to him.“Regrettably too, there were brazen irregularities, including snatching of ballot papers, over-voting, unprecedented manipulation and violence against the opposition.“Most of the results were collated without recourse to BVAS machines, hence, they cannot be relied upon.“We appeal to our members to remain calm and watch things unfold. We firmly believe that light will triumph over darkness, and Abia emancipated from the chains of undemocratic forces.“The election was marred with irregularities in all parts of the state, and APGA cannot accept a highly flawed election.” Only ten local government results have so far been collated, and they include; Ukwa East, Umunneochi, Ukwa West, Bende, Isialangwa North, Isialangwa South, Arochukwu, Ugwunnagbo, Isuikwuato and Ikwuano. So far, the results announced puts the Labour Party in the lead with a margin of 13,132.

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BREAKING: INEC Declares PDP’s Mutfwang winner of Plateau Gov Election



The Plateau State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Caleb Mutfwang, has been declared as the winner of Saturday’s governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission.The result declared by the INEC Presiding Officer, Musa Yusuf, after counting the votes scored by parties that participated in the election shows that Mutfwang had the highest votes beating the All Progressives Candidate, Nentawe Yilwatda.Recall that the PDP governorship candidate was reported to be taking an early lead as of 11 am when INEC resumed collations of results from the 17 local government areas of the state.Details later…

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