The prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) at the resumed court hearing of suspended Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, on Wednesday disclosed that the suspended official had approached the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for a plea bargain.
What happened in court?
Mr. Rotimi Jacobs told the court that the suspended AGF alongside other defendants approached the EFCC with a request for a plea bargain. The prosecution counsel then revealed to the Abuja High Court that the meeting slated for Monday was called off by the prosecution counsel after one of the lawyers representing the AGF informed the EFCC that the anti-graft agency did not invite them for the meeting.
In case you missed it
The EFCC arrested the former AGF, Mr. Ahmed Idris, after the latter failed to honour the anti-graft agency’s numerous invitations for questioning relating to alleged fraudulent acts.
48 hours after Mr. Ahmed Idris’ arrest, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, suspended the Federal official.
The charges against the suspended AGF border on diversion of funds through bogus consultancies and other alleged fraudulent acts through the use of family members and close associates. The EFCC also accused him of money laundering.
Mr. Ahmed Idris regained his freedom from the custody of the EFCC after he received administrative bail. In late July, the former AGF and three others appeared in court on a 14-count charge for financial crimes amounting to N109.4 billion. They sought for the continuation of the administrative bail granted by the EFCC, but the court denied them.
Justice Adeyemi Ajayi, at the next court hearing, granted the bail request and adopted the terms and conditions of the administrative bail earlier granted by the anti-graft agency.
What you should know
In Nigeria’s constitution, section 270 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act encourages settlement and plea bargaining. In fact, two of the Defendants in the alleged drug trafficking case against suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, recently received a power sentence after a plea bargain.
The plea bargain is a legal agreement between a prosecutor and a defendant wherein the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge or to one of many charges presented by the prosecutor for either a lenient sentence or a complete dismissal of the other charges leveled against the defendant.
The three other defendants in the case alongside the former AGF are Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Usman and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited.