Court grants ex-Kwara governor Ahmed bail on 8 conditions

A FEDERAL High Court sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State, has granted a former governor of the state, Abdulfatah Ahmed, bail on eight conditions.

Ahmed was detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged fraudulent activities during his time as Kwara State governor, with the funds involved in the corruption running into billions of naira.

In addition, the anti-graft agency accused him of renting private aircraft with the state government’s operating expenses and security fund totalling N1.6 billion (N1,610,730,500.00.)


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The judge, Evelyn Anyadike, gave him eight bail conditions before he could be released from the EFCC custody.

Among others, the bail conditions require that he provide ₦50 million, two sureties with landed properties in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, submit his international passport to the court and seek permission anytime he wants to travel outside the country.

The EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs, a senior advocate, said Ahmed’s lawyer, Kehinde Eleja, also a senior advocate, verbally requested the defendant’s bail application, and the court granted the bail on stringent conditions.

Ahmed also said the former governor’s prosecution was at the court’s discretion and lamented his client’s ‘poor’ treatment.

 The judge adjourned the case to April 29 and 30 for continued hearing.

A reliable source at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja confirmed to The ICIR on Wednesday that Ahmed was at the Ilorin office of the commission over alleged financial misconduct during his tenure as governor.

“Yes, the former governor is at our Ilorin office; he is undergoing rigorous investigation, and he has been there since Monday,” the source told The ICIR on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, protests erupted at the Zonal office of the EFCC on Wednesday, February 21, over Ahmed’s continued detention.

The protests dissipated after a representative of the anti-corruption agency addressed the demonstrators.

The ICIR reported in September 2022 that Ahmed denied the alleged infractions. He described a forensic audit report indicting his administration of financial misappropriation as “preposterous and unfounded.”

The ICIR reported that the audit report commissioned by the Kwara State government disclosed that about N11.9 billion was stolen from the state’s treasury between 2011 and 2016 under Ahmed’s watch.

Reacting to the report, the former governor explained that every expenditure during the period under review was properly appropriated and followed due process.

He said since he left office, various auditing agencies had properly audited and certified the state accounts.

The former governor also challenged his successor to account for how the state government spent about N.3 trillion accruing to it since he took over office without commensurate infrastructural development in the state.

Ahmed served as Kwara State’s governor from 2011 until 2019. 




     

     

    He succeeded Bukola Saraki as the governor of the North-Central state.

    The ICIR, in a report on Sunday, February 18, listed ten prominent Nigerians currently having cases with the EFCC.

    While some cases are in court, others are still being investigated.

    You can read about some of the pending cases here.

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