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Nigeria arrests treasury head Ahmed Idris over alleged $200m fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Nigeria says it’s arrested the country’s accountant-general, Ahmed Idris, on suspicion he diverted almost $200m (£162m) of public funds.

The commission said Mr Idris had used family members and close associates to defraud the government and invest the proceeds in real estate in Nigeria.

“Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, May 16, 2022 arrested serving Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris in connection with diversion of funds and money laundering activities to the tune of N80billion (Eighty Billion Naira) only,” a statement by the agency read.

“The Commission’s verified intelligence showed that the AGF raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.

“The funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja. Mr. Idris was arrested after failing to honour invitations by the EFCC to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts.”

There’s been no comment from Mr Idris.

Nigeria has struggled with corruption for many years, but the EFCC has successfully prosecuted politicians, police officers and civil servants.

Last year it recovered around $750m in assets.