By Imam Moromoke
The number of big shots in the current administration that may be consumed by the ongoing probe of the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, are increasing on a daily basis as the investigation proceeds.
A highly placed source in the anti-corruption circle has informed Economic Confidential, that the total sum in the series of coordinated scams traced to the AGF is up to 200 billion naira, adding that too many people in the President Muhammadu Buhari cabinet, elected office holders at national and state levels, heads of agencies and parastatals and senior civil servants are neck-deep in the scam.
It would be recalled that Idris was nabbed by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on May 16 in connection with a series of fraud that was initially thought to be in the region of 80 billion naira. He has been held by the Commission for weeks and he is said to be volunteering a lot of information regarding the dramatis personae involved in the alleged sleaze.
Three days later, Idris was suspended by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Idris, to enable him face his probe. An overseeing AGF, one Mr Anamekwe Nwabuoku, was named in his place on May 22.
In a twist of fate, it became clear hours after that announcement that the new overseeing AGF has also had a scandal-ridden career in the civil service.
According to credible sources familiar with his antecedents, the EFCC is also investigating him for a series of graft allegations and Nwabuoku is known to visit the headquarters on a regular basis as part of the investigation routine.
Some of the allegations against him include overpayment to himself in previous MDAs he served.
Some of the properties he acquired fraudulently and being recovered by anti-corruption agencies.
One of the sources informed Economic Confidential that perhaps his major financial crime was allegedly committed while he was the Director of Finance and Accounts at the Ministry of Defense where he was said to have enriched himself with internal security funds.
He was allegedly involved in other fraudulent activities and using the Government Integrated Financial Management System (GIFMIS) to steal the salaries of federal government staff.
Our source has now told us that what has been unearthed and made public in the AGF Idris whole scandal is infinitesimal compared to what is coming.
According to the source, since the commencement of the entire investigations, Idris’ confessional statements, traces of the funds, withdrawals and deposits in local and foreign currencies, have reportedly led to the arrest of former governor of Zamfara state, Abdulaziz Yari, who like Idris, is still in EFCC custody at the time of filing this report.
Also arrested on Sunday in connection with the investigation was the Chairman and Managing Director of Finex Professional, Anthony Yaro.
The findings so far, the source said, will lead to more arrests.
Economic Confidential gathered from the source that as the investigation progresses, a lot of powerful and influential figures in this administration have been fingered to have benefitted from the diversion of 200 billion naira, adding that the EFCC would soon swoop on those suspects for interrogation and prosecution.