A court in Abuja has ordered the interim forfeiture of some assets of the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, who is standing trial for stealing N109 billion from the government.
The assets of Mr Idris forfeited temporarily to the government include the sums of $899,900 and N304,490,160.95, according to top sources at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
They also include 15 properties in Kano and Abuja.
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court ordered the interim forfeiture of the assets on 13 December.
Over N30 billion worth of assets have been seized from Mr Idris since his arrest in May, EFCC chair, Abdulrasheed Bawa, told State House reporters in Abuja on 15 December.
“On the case of the former Accountant General of the Federation Idris Ahmed, we at the EFCC have recovered N30 billion from him,” Mr Bawa said during the 62nd Ministerial Media Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
A judge of the FCT High Court, M.A Hassan, made the order of interim forfeiture of a batch of the assets of Mr Idris in a ruling delivered on 13 December on a motion exparte filed by the EFCC.
The EFCC, in the motion marked M/1149/2022, prayed the court for “an order of interim attachment/ forfeiture of the properties in the Schedule to the application, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive case in Charge No. FCT/ HC/CR/299/2022, Federal Republic of Nigeria V. Ahmed Idris and Others.”
The commission also sought an order approving the interim “management of the assets and properties in the Schedule to this application to the applicant”.
It also urged the court to make an order “to open an interest yielding account where monies realised from the management of the assets and properties of the persons stated in the Schedule to this application shall be paid”.
It also prayed for an order “freezing the Bank Accounts of the persons referred to as account holders/ or the bank accounts set out in the Schedule to this application”.
All orders prayed for are to subsist “pending the hearing and determination of the substantive case.”
The judge granted the motion as prayed but further ordered that the recovery account sought to be opened by the applicant, ” shall be in the name of the Commission as Recovery Account and the details of the Account shall be reported back to the Court within one week of opening”.
The properties linked Mr Idris and now bear an order of interim forfeiture include Kano City Mall/Al Ikhlas Shopping Mall at Mandwawarti, Kano; and one storey Shopping Complex at Ladanai, Kano.
They also include Corner Shops at Ladanai, Kano; a duplex at Karsana, Abuja; Royal Duplex at Daneji Quarters, Kano and a Duplex at Plot 271, New Jersey Street, Efab Blue Fountain Estate, Abuja.
Nine properties linked to the second respondent, Mohammed Kudu Usman, which are located in Abuja, Niger and Nasarawa states, were also ordered forfeited in the interim.
They include plots of land with shops in Chanchaga Local Government Area of Niger State, a 37 hectares of farmland with livestock located along Minna-Bida Road in Niger State, Bungalow flats at Gwarimpa, Abuja, Bungalow Buildings at Masaka, Nasarawa State, plots of land at Dutse Alhaji Abuja and 13 plots of land at Integrated City, Minna, Niger State.
The EFCC is prosecuting Mr Idris and other co-defendants over alleged N109 billion fraud at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), in Maitama, Abuja.
His co-defendants are Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Usman and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited.
They face 14 charges of stealing and criminal breach of trust involving N109 billion in public funds.
The defendants were granted bail on 28 July by Justice J.O Adeyemi-Ajayi. The judge said that the defendants were entitled to bail in spite of the allegations levelled against them.
It had been reported how the court seized some multi-milllion naira assets from Mr Idris in June.
The assets, mostly in Kano, his home state in Nigeria’s northwestern region, are said to be worth billions of naira, significantly more than his monthly salary as a public officer.
The Federal Government suspended him as the Accountant-General of the Federation after his arrest in Kano over the fraud allegation in May.