N109bn Fraud: Disgraced AGF Seek Plea Bargain


The disgraced Accountant General of the Federation, AGF, Ahmed Idris is seeking a plea bargain in his fraud case that he was alleged to have divert6ed N109 billion by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC. On July 22, 2022, the AGF was paraded in court by the EFCC on 14 count charges bordering on fraud alongside Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, Mohammad Kudu Usman, and a firm, Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited. Accordingly, the defendants were granted bail in liberal terms.

During the court session today, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, told the court that Idris and his co-defendants had, through a third party, requested to meet him to negotiate a plea bargain arrangement. 

According to Jacobs, “My lord, the defendants sent a third party to me that they wanted a plea bargain meeting and that they wanted to meet me,” 

“But my reply to them was that I could not meet them in the absence of their lawyers. 

“By the nature of our calling, we must be open and transparent. 

He explained, “Since section 270 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act encourages settlement and plea bargaining, I told them to come with their lawyers and that I would also invite the investigators to come for the meeting.” 

However, the prosecutor revealed that the meeting which was scheduled to hold last Monday was called off after the accused lawyer; Chris Uche came to Jacobs's office to protest their exclusion from the arrangement. 

The prosecuting lawyer added, “One of the lawyers in the team of the first defendant, Mr. Kanayo Okafor, came to my office at the EFCC and protested that they were not carried along and that his client would not come for the meeting,” 

The EFCC lawyer disclosed that after speaking with the AGF lawyer, Uche SAN, for more than 30 minutes concerning the matter, Uche disclosed that his office did not invite them. 

Jacobs revealed he was left with no option but to call off the meeting even though the senior counsel insisted that the meeting should go on. 

He said, “I called it off because, in the first place, the meeting was at their instance. So, none of the defendants entered the EFCC premises or came for the meeting.” 

Reacting, Goddy Uche who represented the first defendant (Idris), insisted that his client and his co-defendants were at the EFCC office for the meeting, but declined to continue with the negotiation after they were asked to approach the EFCC chairman's office. 

Uche said, “My lord, I could not interview my client on Monday as slated because he was at the EFCC [office],” he said. 

He disclosed “surprisingly, he was at the EFCC [office] but his lawyers were not carried along. We had thought that one of the prerequisites for charging a matter in court is that the prosecution has concluded its investigations. 

He expressed his dissatisfaction describing the matter as contemptuous since it was already in court, how can it then be negotiated at the EFCC chairman's office? 

The matter has been adjoined to October 4th, 2022 by the presiding judge, Adeyemi Ajayi.