The federal government has suspended the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, indefinitely, following his arrest on Monday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged diversion of N80 billion public funds. The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, ordered his suspension via a letter dated May 18, 2022.
When contacted, Special Adviser to the Minister on Media and Communications, Mr. Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, confirmed the development.
Abdullahi stated that the suspension was “to allow for proper and unhindered investigation into the serious allegations” against him, in line with Public Service Rules.
He said the suspension took effect from yesterday, adding, “He is suspended without pay, and during this period, he is not expected to be at work or have any contact with the office.”
EFCC had on Monday announced the arrest of the AGF.
In a statement, EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, stated, “Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday, May 16, 2022, arrested serving Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris, in connection with diversion of funds and money laundering activities to the tune of N80billion.
“The commission’s verified intelligence showed that the AGF raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members, and close associates.
“The funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja.”
The companies used in laundering the funds had, allegedly, been linked to family members and associates of the suspended accountant-general.
Before his arrest, Idris was reportedly summoned repeatedly for interrogation but he failed to honour the invitations.
President Muhammed Buhari appointed the suspended AGF on June 25, 2015. He succeeded Jonah Otunla, who retired on June 12, 2015.
Idris was reappointed for a second term of four-years in June 2019, despite misgivings by labour groups who had said the accountant-general should have retired after turning 60.
Audit reports from the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation (OAuGF) had over the years consistently indicted the AGF’s office for various lapses.
A native of Kano State, Idris was born on November 25, 1960, and was until his appointment in 2015 Director of Finance and Accounts, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.