The Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja on Tuesday revoked bail earlier granted to a co-accused in the trial against former Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris.
The co-accused, Geoffrey Akindele, is facing trial alongside Mr Idris on charges of fraudulent diversion of public funds to the tune of N109.5 million.
The judge, Yusuf Halilu, revoked Mr Akindele’s bail and ordered police to arrest him, after he failed to appear in court on Tuesday to continue the trial.
He Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Messrs. Idris and Akindele along with Mohammed Usman and Gezawa Commodity Market & Exchange Limited.
Mr Akindele was absent from court when the case was called on Tuesday, but Messrs Idris and Usman were present.
Despite allegations by Mr Akindele’s lawyer, HE Adino, that his client was on his way to court, claiming that he (Akindele) had always been in court to stand trial, the judge, Mr Halilu, insisted in revoking the bail of the second accused.
The judge said it was incumbent on a defendant who had been granted bail by a court to reciprocate the gesture by regularly attending his trial.
He added that it was evident that Mr Akindele had not shown good character and conduct by refusing to attend court.
“The second defendant had abused his bail conditions,” the judge ruled.
Mr. Halilu subsequently revoked his bail and ordered the FCT Police Commissioner and the EFCC to arrest Mr. Akindele and produce him in court on the next adjourned date.
He then adjourned the case to February 1, 2024 for a final hearing.
Earlier, the prosecutor, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, had informed the court that the prosecution received a letter from Mr Idris’s lawyer but did not receive any from Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited’s lawyer.
The accused face charges of theft and fraudulent diversion of public funds to the tune of N109.5 billion.
Among other charges, it is alleged that Mr. Idris, between February and December 2021, while a public servant as the Accountant-General of the Federation, accepted from Mr. Akindele a gratuity in the aggregate sum of N15.1 million.
The prosecution said Mr Akindele converted the money to the dollar equivalent.
The money, according to the prosecution, was not part of Idris’ remuneration, but rather a reason to expedite the payment of the 13 per cent derivation to nine oil-producing states of the federation through the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
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EFCC alleged that they thereby committed an offense contrary to section 155 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 533, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990 and punishable under the same section.
Messrs Idris and Akindele, who was a technical assistant to the Accountant-General of the Federation, were charged with committing criminal breach of trust while entrusted with certain assets, namely N84,390,000,000 between February and November 2021 upon receipt dishonestly said assets. amount from the Federal Government through Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, trading under the name and style of Olusegun Akindele & Co.
With this, according to EFCC, the first and second accused were alleged to have committed an offense punishable under Section 315 of the Penal Code Act, Chapter 532, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against them by the anti-corruption commission.