Stealing In High Places Worrisome

Stealing In High Places Worrisome

This indeed is not a pleasant moment for our dear country, given the frenetic pace at which events are unfolding. From the North to the South, the media have been awash with unpleasant media reports of obscenities, killings and various perversions, depicting a generalsense of insecurity and impunity.

The latest of this general national discomfiture was the arrest of the nation’s Accountant-General, Ahmed Idris, who was arrested over alleged money laundering and diversion of public funds, recently.

According to reports, Mr Idris was intercepted in Kano by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on last Monday was flown to Abuja, the nation’s capital, for interrogation.

It even further averred that the EFCC has for some time now been investigating a case of diversion of at least N80 billion in public funds which was allegedly laundered through some bogus contracts.It was alleged that companies used in laundering the funds have been linked to family members and associates of the accountant-general.

According to the anti-graft agency, Mr Idris was summoned repeatedly for interrogation but he failed to honour the invitations, suggesting that he was deliberately evading them until he was finally tracked.

“We kept inviting him but he kept dodging us”, one of our sources said. “We were left with no choice than to keep him under watch and arrest him”.

One of his subordinates said he is travelling in the United Kingdom at this time.

However, a top EFCC official confirmed the development but asked notto be named because he had no permission to discuss the matter withthe media.Mr Uwujaren later issued a statement saying, “Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, May 16,2022 arrested serving Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. AhmedIdris in connection with diversion of funds and money launderingactivities to the tune of N80billion.

The Commission’s noted that its verified intelligence showed that the AGF raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja Mr Idris was arrested after failing to honour invitations by the EFCC to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts”.

We learnt that President Buhari reappointed Mr Idris for a second four-year term in June 2019, amid criticisms from labour groups who said the accountant-general should retire after turning 60.

Mr. Idris, a native of Kano State, North-west Nigeria, was born on November 25, 1960, and was until his appointment in 2015 the Director of Finance and Accounts, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.While, we do not succumb to a media trial of Mr. Idris, certain pertinent questions have aroused inquisition by the media.

Upon reaching his retirement age in 2019, why was he not faithfully eased-out of service? Was he so indispensable on account of his professional competence that no one else could fit into his big shoes?

Also, Idris had no skeleton in his cupboard,but was said to have been evading the invitation of the anti-graft agency.We are worried that the allegations against Mr. Idris’ may just be a tip of the iceberg of when eventually stocks are taken of the stewardship of many top government functionaries who claim they are following the puritan and messianic stance of President Muhammadu Buhari whose one basic concern on assuming office in 2015 is to fight corruption head on.

While we align our thoughts with the legal latitude which assumes a person innocent until found guilty, we are quick to point out that it would be a plus for the Buhari administration if the matter is properly handled judiciously and in proper judicial process as that would particularly enhance the people’s confidence in government’s waning anti-corruption drive.For the EFCC, it appears it is out to function in line with the dictates of its mandate and we counsel that for an improved public rating, there should not be selective justice.

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Accountant-GeneralAhmed IdrisEFCC