The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has revealed how Ahmed Idris, the suspended accountant-general of the federation, received a N15 billion bribe to accelerate 13% derivation funds to nine oil-producing states.
The 13 percent derivation fund comes from the federation revenue to oil-producing communities through the state governments as enshrined in section 162, sub-section 2 of the Nigerian constitution.
The fund is a benefit-sharing system that helps affected communities get funds to restore aspects of their society affected by oil production.
In February, the states — Delta, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers, Edo, Ondo, Imo, Lagos and Abia — reportedly received a total of N450.60 billion of the fund in 2021.
Idris was arrested in Kano, in May, after he failed to respond to invitations by the commission to answer questions over the allegation of N80 billion fraud.
Two days later, he was suspended indefinitely “without pay” by Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning.
Idris was subsequently arraigned alongside Godfrey Olusegun Akindele and Mohammed Kudu Usman, and a firm — Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited.
On Friday, EFCC brought him to court to stand trial on the fraud allegations.
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”.
“That you, Ahmed Idris between February and December 2021 at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, being a public servant by virtue of your position as the Accountant General of the Federation, accepted from Olusegun Akindele, a gratification in the aggregate sum of N15,136,221,921.46 (Fifteen Billion, One Hundred and Thirty-Six Million, Two Hundred and Twenty-One Thousand, Nine Hundred and Twenty-One Naira and Forty-Six Kobo), which sum was converted to the United States Dollars by the said Olusegun Akindele and which sum did not form part of your lawful remuneration but as a motive for accelerating the payment of 13% derivation to the nine (9) oil-producing states in the Federation, through the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 155 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and punishable under the same section,” the charge sheet reads.
At the court session on Friday, Rotimi Jacobs, counsel to the EFCC, prayed the court to grant the prosecution leave to prefer a criminal charge under section 109 of ACJA against the defendants.
Adeyemi Ajayi, the judge, granted the application as prayed.
Consequently, a 14-count charge was read to the defendants.
Making an oral application, Chris Uche, counsel to Idris, prayed the court to grant bail to his client pending when he files a written bail application.
But the judge rejected the application and remanded Idris and other defendants in Kuje prison.
The case was then adjourned to July 27, for the continuation of trial.