Ex-Accountant General begs for time to refund N1.6bn looted funds

A former acting Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Anamekwe Nwabuoku, on Wednesday, July 10, begged a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to give him more time to conclude the refund of the public funds allegedly siphoned by him and his co-defendant, Felix Nweke.

Nwabuoku and Nweke, a former Deputy Director in the Ministry of Defence, are facing 11 counts of money laundering to the tune of N1.6 billion preferred against them by the EFCC.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while Nwabuoku is the 1st defendant in the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/240/24 dated May 20 and filed May 27 by Ekele Iheanacho, Nweke is the 2nd defendant.

They were alleged to have perpetrated the act while Nwabuoku served as the Director of Finance and Accounts in the Ministry of Defence between 2019 and 2021.

Nwabuoku was appointed acting AGF on May 20, 2022 under ex-President Muhammadu Buhari after Ahmed Idris was suspended as AGF over alleged N80 billion fraud.

He was, however, removed in July 2022, few weeks after assumed office.

When the matter was called on Wednesday, the defendants prayed the court to halt their arraignment until another date to perfect the refund.

Their lawyers informed the court that they had taken steps toward settling the matter and had made substantial refunds of the money traced to them by the anti-graft agency.

Responding, counsel who appeared for the EFCC, Ogechi Ujam, acknowledged that though the commission was in receipt of a proposal letter, she said: “However, no negotiation has been made, no settlement has been done and no agreement has been reached by parties.”

According to her, in the circumstance, we urge this honourable court to allow us to arraign the defendants.

After hearing the parties out, Justice Omotosho adjourned till October 14 for arraignment.


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