The task of an Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) is pretty straightforward. Whoever sits in that chair is the administrative head of the treasury of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
This person is responsible for ensuring revenue monitoring and accounting. The AGF also gets to investigate cases of fraud and loss of funds that concerns Nigeria’s treasury.
It’s a pretty sweet gig, and it’s so boring that many Nigerians won’t even know your name or your face as long as you don’t get up to any extra-curricular activities. But not everyone is Ahmed Idris.
EFCC’s ₦80 billion question
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested Idris in Kano on May 16th 2022. The agency picked up the official in connection with the alleged diversion of funds and money laundering activities amounting to ₦80 billion.
The anti-graft agency said the AGF acquired the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities. For his almost-perfect crime, he allegedly used proxies like family members and close associates to play hide-and-seek with the law. In the EFCC’s words, “The funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja.”
When the EFCC honourably invited Idris to answer some pretty interesting questions about his activities, he aired the agency.
The EFCC took that disrespect personally and decided to arrest him in Kano from where he was transported to Abuja to answer those questions. We imagine the interrogation will start like this:
Who is this Idris guy?
President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Ahmed Idris as the AGF in June 2015. He replaced Jonah Otunla who retired from the civil service while facing allegations of doing some disappearance magic with over ₦2 billion.
Otunla is also currently answering EFCC’s corruption questions in court
Idris is no stranger to controversy. The president kept him in the job despite passing the mandatory retirement age of 60. The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) blamed him for failing in his job to prevent the disappearance of ₦106 billion discovered to be missing from the budgets of ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) in 2018.
The AGF has also faced accusations in the past of acquiring several properties worth billions of naira without a clear source for the funds. His latest shave with the law means he may soon be rubbing shoulders with his predecessor in Abuja courts soon.