The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday released the immediate-past governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed, after detaining him for two nights over corruption allegations .
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how Mr Ahmed was detained by the operatives of the anti-corruption agency after he honoured an invitation by the agency at about 10a.m. on Monday.
The sources said the commission had invited Mr Ahmed in connection with a case involving alleged diversion of N9billion from the coffers of Kwara State government during his tenure as governor of the state between 2011 and 2019.
This newspaper was reliably informed that the former governor was grilled by a crack team of the commission up till about 7 p.m. on Monday at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
He was said to have written statements during the interrogation session.
“And for the past seven hours, he has been in the interrogation room, writing statements,” an EFCC top official informed our reporter on Tuesday.
Sources familiar with the matter informed this newspaper that the former governor was released on bail at about 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
“He (Mr Ahmed) has been released on bail today (Wednesday). He left the Commission building at about 5 p.m. this evening after spending two nights with us at the EFCC headquarters.
“He spent the nights here with us as our officers were interrogating him over the alleged criminal offences during his time he served as both the governor and Commissioner of the state,” the source said.
Efforts to reach the spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, was unsuccessful. He did not respond to phone calls or text messages as of press time.
Alleged N9 billion diversion
Although the details of the case are still sketchy as of press time, sources disclosed that the case was about alleged diversion of N9billion belonging to Kwara State under his watch as the governor.
The administration of Mr Ahmed, a political godson of a former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who is also a former governor of Kwara State, has been under the searchlight of the EFCC for some time.
In January, the commission arraigned the Commissioner for Finance under Mr Ahmed’s administration on charges of N411million money laundering.
The anti-graft agency alleged that the ex-commissioner, Ademola Banu, committed the crime in 2018 by conspiring with others to launder the said sum belonging to the Kwara State Government.
Mr Ahmed, before becoming the governor, had served as the commissioner of finance in the then administration of Mr Saraki as the governor of the state.
‘I was not questioned about any N9billion fraud’
Meanwhile, Mr Ahmed has denied being questioned by the EFCC in respect of any N9billion fraud.
He issued the denial tweet via his verified Twitter account on Tuesday.
He also confirmed in the tweet that he had been granted bail as of Tuesday, but his release from custody came about 24 hours after.
“In response to an invitation by the commission via a letter dated 26th April 2021, I voluntarily visited the EFCC in Abuja yesterday about a complaint about a contract awarded by Kwara State Government while I was the State Commissioner for Finance. I was not accused of any wrongdoing. Neither was I questioned about any N9b transaction. I have since been granted bail,” the tweet read.
In response to an invitation by the commission via a letter dated 26th April 2021, I voluntarily visited the EFCC in Abuja yesterday with regard to a complaint about a contract awarded by Kwara State Government while I was State the Commissioner for Finance.
— Alh Abdulfatah Ahmed (@AbdulfataAhmed) May 18, 2021