THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting high profile cases in various courts across the country.
The ICIR takes a look at some of these pending cases.
Ahmed Idris, former accountant General of the Federation
One of those currently being prosecuted by the EFCC is Ahmed Idris, the suspended Accountant-General of the Federation.
In May, The ICIR reported that the EFCC arrested Idris over an alleged N80 billion fraud.
Idris was arrested in Kano after he failed to honour invitations extended to him over the fraud allegations.
Two days after his arrest, Idris was suspended indefinitely “without pay” by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.
Idris was subsequently arraigned alongside Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Kudu Usman, and a firm — Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited.
According to one of the charges, the EFCC alleged that Idris received gratification from one Olusegun Akindele, worth N15.1 billion, in exchange for “accelerating the payment of 13% derivation to the nine oil-producing states in the federation”.
Idris was released on administrative bail from the custody of the anti-graft agency in Abuja on June 1, 2022.
He was later arraigned alongside the other accused persons on July 22 before a vacation judge, Justice Adeyemi Ajayi, on 13 counts bordering on the misappropriation of N109.5 billion.
The case was then adjourned to July 27 for continuation of trial.
A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting at Maitama on July 28 granted bail to Idris and two others.
Justice Ajayi, in a ruling, adopted all the terms and conditions of the administrative bail the EFCC earlier gave the ex-AGF and his two co-defendants.
In November 2022, an EFCC witness told the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja, that Idris voluntarily returned about $900,000 in cash.
In December, while appearing at the Ministerial Media Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, EFCC chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa disclosed that the anti-graft agency recovered over N30 billion out of the N109 billion alleged to have been stolen by Idris.
Bawa spoke on December 15 while responding to a question on the independence of the Commission.
Also, on December 21, 2022, a Federal Capital Territory High Court ordered forfeiture of $900,000, and properties that were recovered from Idris by the EFCC.
The forfeited items are a sum of $899,900, N304.5 million and 15 choice properties in Kano and Abuja.
Nine properties linked to the second respondent, Mohammed Kudu Usman, located in Abuja, Niger and Nasarawa States, were also forfeited in the interim.
Kogi State governor Yahaya Bello’s nephew Ali Bello
The ICIR reported in December 2022 that the EFCC arraigned Ali Bello, identified as a nephew of Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi State, before a Federal High Court in Abuja in December 2022.
He was arraigned alongside one Dauda Suleiman on a 10-count charge of alleged misappropriation and money laundering before James Omotosho, a judge.
The Commission stated that the pair, along with one Abdulsalami Hudu, a cashier at the Kogi State House of Assembly who is now at large, took N10.2 billion for personal use out of the state’s coffers.
However, the accused entered a “not guilty” plea to the accusations.
In its decision on the bail request, the court mandated that the defendants provide bail in the amount of N1 billion apiece, along with two sureties who must provide N2 billion bonds and landed property worth N500 million each.
The court also ordered that they be remanded in prison pending the fulfilment of their bail conditions.
The case was then adjourned till February 6, 2023.
Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly
The ICIR reported that the EFCC arrested the Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly Olakunle Oluomo on September 1, 2022, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, and took him to its Lagos office, where he was detained until he was released on administrative bail.
Oluomo is accused of conspiring, forging documents, and stealing more than N2.5 billion.
The Speaker and two other people were brought before Justice Daniel Osiagor.
When the matter came up in November 2022, the Federal High Court in Abeokuta shifted the hearing to January 23 to enable the judge clear pre-election issues before the court.
On the adjourned date, the court could not hear the fraud case because the judge, Justice Joyce Abdulmalik, was reportedly slightly ill.
Former General Manager NSITF Adebayo Adebowale Aderibigbe
The EFCC also arraigned a former General Manager (GM) of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Adebayo Adebowale Aderibigbe.
Aderibigbe was arraigned alongside Ogundele Mura Yisa-Yemi before Justice O. A Musa of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Jabi, Abuja.
They were arraigned on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining the sum of N60.4 million by false pretence.
The judge granted the defendants bail in the sum of N50 million and one surety each in like sum.
The judge adjourned the matter till February 21 and 23 for trial.
Former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose
Another high profile case being handled by the EFCC is that of the former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose.
A Federal High Court in Ikoyi presided by Justice Chukujekwu Aneke, on February 1, adjourned the trial to March 20.
The former governor and his company, Spotless Investment Limited, are being tried over an alleged N6.9 billion fraud.
The EFCC, on July 2, 2019, re-arraigned Fayose and one other person on an 11-count charge bordering on money laundering and stealing.
The case was adjourned to March 20 and 21 for a continuation of trial.
Ex-NIMASA DG Akpobolokemi
The case of alleged N754.8m fraud against Ex-NIMASA Director General Patrick Akpobolokemi is still pending in court.
Justice R.I.B Adebiyi of the State High Court, sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on January 30 adjourned the matter to March 6 for the adoption of final written addresses in no-case submission filed by Akpobolokemi.
Akpobolokemi and one Agaba are alleged to have defrauded NIMASA of N754.8m.
Former Accountant General of the Federation, Jonah Oguniyi Otunla
In a judgment, a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal, on Monday, January 30 held that a former Accountant General of the Federation, Jonah Oguniyi Otunla failed to prove that there was actually a non-prosecution agreement between him and the EFCC.
The court upheld the arguments of EFCC’s lawyer, Sylvanus Tahir, SAN, and resolved the four issues identified for determination in favour of the Commission.
Otunla reportedly refunded N6.4 billion from the N24 billion he allegedly stole.
He was the Accountant-General of the Federation between June 2011 and June 2015.