Nigeria’s former treasury head remanded to prison in $262 million fraud case

KANO, Nigeria 

The former head of Nigeria’s Treasury was remanded Friday for his alleged involvement in diverting more than 109 billion Nigerian nairas ($262 million).

Justice Adeyemi Ajayi gave the order after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) indicted Ahmad Idris on a 14-count charge including conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and money laundering.

Idris allegedly received payments from Godfrey Olusegun Akindele worth 15.1 billion nairas in exchange for accelerating payment to the 13% derivation fund — a benefit-sharing system that helps communities get development funds. It goes to the country’s nine oil-producing states.

The former Treasury chief was arraigned alongside Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Kudu Usman and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited.

EFCC counsel Rotimi Jacobs pleaded with the court to grant the prosecution time to prepare additional criminal charges.

But Idris’ lawyer, Chris Uche, asked the court to grant bail to his client pending a formal written application.

He said his client had to take the next available flight from Kano to appear for the trial in the nation’s capital, Abuja.

But the judge ruled that Idris and the other defendants be remanded in prison.

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