By Emmanuel Nduka
An Abuja High Court on Friday ordered the remand of a former Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, over alleged N109 billion fraud charges.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Idris alongside three others – Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Usman and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited.
They all pleaded not guilty to the 14-count charges read to them during the hearing before the trial judge, Justice A. Adeyemi-Ajayi.
Earlier before the defendants took their plea, the prosecuting lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), asked the judge to grant the prosecution leave to prefer a criminal charge under section 109 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (2015) (ACJA) against them.
The judge granted the application as prayed by the prosecution, after which a court official read out the 14 counts, which the defendants denied.
After the pleas of the defendants were taken, Idris’ lawyer, Chris Uche, also a senior advocate, made an oral application for the bail of his client.
However, Jacobs opposed oral bail application, insisting that it must be done in writing.
It would be recalled that Idris was apprehended in Kano, following his refusal to honour the EFCC’s invitation concerning the alleged fraud investigation.
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, subsequently informed Mr Idris of his suspension, in a letter dated May 18.