Finance minister suspends AGF over N80bn ‘fraud’

Ahmed Idris

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, on Wednesday suspended the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris over allegation of N80 billion fraud.

The suspension letter marked HMFBNP/AGF/SUSPENSION/5/2022 and dated 18th May, 2022 states that the suspension became necessary “to allow for proper and unhindered investigation into the serious allegations in line with Public Service Rules 030406”.

The letter reads in part: “Following your recent arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on allegations of diversion of funds and money laundering, I write to convey your suspension from work without pay effective 18th May, 2022.

“During this period, you are not expected to attend your place of work or contact any official in your Office except for any disciplinary hearing that may be advised.

“It is expected that you will strictly comply with any instructions that will be forwarded to you in your current location or your known recorded address as stipulated in the extant rules.”

The Minister’s Special Adviser on Communications, Mr Tanko Abdulahi, who confirmed the suspension said the AGF has been asked to proceed on indefinite suspension pending the outcome of the investigation.

He said, “The AGF has been suspended by the Finance Minister. His suspension will be indefinite until the investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been concluded.”

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, had on Monday, arrested Idris over allegations bothering on money laundering to the tune of N80bn.

The EFCC noted that the AGF’s arrest followed verified intelligence that he allegedly “raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.”

The Commission’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement said the 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,” the EFCC said.

In a letter dated May 18, 2022, the minister said the suspension “without pay” was to allow for “proper and unhindered investigation” in line with public service rules.