Barristers & Solicitors
Alleged N109b fraud: Absence of ex-Accountant General Idris’ lawyer stalls trial
Ahmed Idris

The planned resumption of proceedings in the trial of the suspended Accountant General of the Federation (AG-F), Ahmed Idris, and three others, was stalled yesterday due to the absence of lawyers to Idris and his firm, Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited.

The two lawyers, who are brothers – Chris Uche and Gordy Uche (both Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SANs) – wrote the court to seek an adjournment on the grounds that they were involved in a pre-election case outside Abuja.

Idris, his former Technical Assistant, Godfrey Olusegun Akindele; a director in the Office of the AG-F, Mohammed Kudu Usman (a director in AG-F office); and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited are being tried on a 14-count charge bordering on stealing and criminal breach of trust to the tune of N109 billion.

At the resumption of proceedings yesterday before Justice Yusuf Halilu of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama, lawyer to the prosecution, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, recalled that the case was slated for the commencement of trial-within-trial.

Atolagbe said although the prosecution was ready and had its witness in court, lawyers to the first and fourth defendants were absent and wrote the court to seek an adjournment.

He averred that since the court would be unable to proceed with the business of the day in view of the absence of the two lawyers, he would reluctantly concede to an adjournment.

Lawyers to Akindele and Usman – Joe Abraham (SAN) and Mohammed Ndayako (SAN) – equally agreed to an adjournment, and Justice Halilu adjourned till March 1.

At the last hearing, the court heard how Idris voluntarily returned about $900,000 to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

An official of the EFCC, Hayatudeen Ahmed, who testified as a prosecution witness, also told the court that about N32 billion had been recovered from the N109 billion allegedly looted by Idris and others.