The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has cautioned a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) against granting bail to the suspended Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris and two others.
Idris is standing trial, with three others, before the court for allegedly diverting about N109billion from public coffers.
Idris, his Technical Assistant, Godfrey Olusegun Akindele; a director in the office of the AGF, Mohammed Kudu Usman and a firm linked with Idris – Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited – were arraigned on July 22 on a 14-count charge birding on stealing and criminal breach of trust to the tune of N109, 485,572,691:9.
Arguing the prosecution’s counter-affidavit on Wednesday, its lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) equated the alleged offences for which the defendants were being tried to terrorism and genocide.
Jacobs told the court that Idris and his co-defendants committed criminal breach of trust which is a serious offence that should not be granted bail.
He urged the court to consider the nature, gravity and weight of the charges as they are sufficient enough to warrant the refusal of their bail applications.
Jacobs noted that the case is a public office offence “which is equal to terrorism and genocide,” and should be handled with all seriousness.
He told the court that the prosecution was ready for the commencement of trial.
Lawyers to the defendants – Chris Uche (SAN), Peter Abalaka and Mr Mohammed Ndayako prayed the court to grant bail to their clients.
Uche, who represented Idris and his firm, argued that the alleged offences with which his clients were charged are bailable, adding that they are not capital offences.
He noted that Idris was granted administrative bail by the EFCC and that he did not abuse the bail earlier granted him.
Uche said his client has people who are willing to stand sureties for humans prayed the court to allow him on bail on liberal terms.
Abalaka, who represented Akindele, argued that the prosecution’s counter-affidavit was hinged on sentiments and prejudices, which, he added, do not have a place in the trial.
He added that his client is obedient and will not disobey court orders.
Ndayako, who represented Usman, spoke in similar vein and urged the court to admit his client to bail on liberal terms.
After listening to the lawyers, Justice Jadesola Adeyemi-Ajayi adjourned till Thursday for ruling.