The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja revoked the bail earlier granted to a co-defendant in the trial of a former Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris.
The co-defendant, Geoffrey Akindele, is facing trial along with Mr. Idris on charges of fraudulent diversion of public funds to the tune of N109.5 million.
The judge, Yusuf Halilu, on Tuesday revoked Mr. Akindele’s bail and ordered the police to arrest him following his failure to attend court on Tuesday for the continuation of their trial.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Idris and Akindele alongside Mohammed Usman and Gezawa Commodity Market & Exchange Limited.
Mr. Akindele was absent from court when the case was called on Tuesday, but Idris and Usman were present.
Despite pleas by the counsel for Mr. Akindele, S.E. Adino, that his client was on the way to court, submitting that he (Akindele) had always been in court to face trial, the judge, Mr. Halilu, insisted on revoking the second defendant’s bail.
The judge said it was incumbent on a defendant who was granted bail by a court of law to reciprocate the gesture by regularly attending his trial.
He added that Mr. Akindele had clearly not shown good character and conduct by his refusal to attend court.
”The second defendant had abused the terms of his bail,” the judge ruled.
Mr. Halilu subsequently revoked his bail and ordered the FCT Commissioner of Police and the EFCC to arrest Mr. Akindele and produce him in court on the next adjourned date.
He then adjourned the case until February 1, 2024, for a definite hearing.
Earlier, the prosecuting counsel, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, informed the court that the prosecution received a letter from the counsel for Mr. Idris and did not receive any from the counsel for Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited.
The defendants are facing charges of stealing and fraudulent diversion of public funds to the tune of N109.5 billion.
Among other charges, Mr. Idris was alleged to have, between February and December 2021, while being a public servant as the Accountant-General of the Federation, accepted from Mr. Akindele a gratification of the aggregate sum of N15.1 million.
The prosecution said the money was converted to dollar equivalents by Mr. Akindele.
The money, according to the prosecution, did not form part of Idris’s remuneration but a motive for accelerating the payment of 13 percent derivation to nine oil-producing states in the federation through the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
EFCC alleged they thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 155 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 533, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990, and punishable under the same section.
Idris and Akindele, who were Technical Assistants to the Accountant-General of the Federation, were accused of committing a criminal breach of trust while being entrusted with certain property, to wit, N84,390,000,000 between February and November 2021, by dishonestly receiving the said amount from the Federal Government through Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, trading under the name and style of Olusegun Akindele & Co.
According to the EFCC, the first and second defendants were alleged to have committed an offense punishable under Section 315 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them by the anti-corruption commission.