ABUJA. – The head of Nigeria’s treasury has been arrested for alleged involvement in fraud and money laundering worth 80 billion naira, the national anti-graft agency said yesterday.
Ahmed Idris, Nigeria’s accountant-general, was arrested on Monday “after failing to honour invitations” to respond to the allegations.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said Idris “raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates”.
The proceeds were invested by Idris in real estate in the capital Abuja and in his home state of Kano in northern Nigeria, it said in a statement issued late Monday.
The EFCC has for sometime now been investigating a case of diversion of at least N80 billion in public funds which was allegedly laundered through some bogus contracts.
The companies used in laundering the funds have allegedly been linked to family members and associates of the accountant-general, investigators said.
Idris has not commented on the accusations.
President Muhammadu Buhari came to power in 2015 on a pledge to end endemic graft.
Under his watch, the EFCC has secured a string of high-profile convictions, including ministers, state governors, senior public servants and prominent political figures.
Last year, the agency said it had recovered US$750 million that had been plundered from the nation’s coffers.
The government has been accused of targeting the opposition in its anti-corruption drive, an allegation it denies. – AFP