Kogi demands apology from EFCC over frozen N20B

Kogi governor Yahaya Bello and EFCC chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa

Kogi governor Yahaya Bello and EFCC chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa

By Moses Omorogieva

Kogi State Government on Friday demanded apology from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged “embarrassment” of dragging it to court over N20 billion bailout fund.

The Commissioner for Information in Kogi, Mr Kingsley Fanwo, stated the government’s position at the presentation of awards to senior journalists who participated in the GYB Essay Competition for Nigeria’s Political and Crime Editors in Lagos.

EFCC on Friday told the court that it was no longer pursuing the case after the state government had given its commitment to return the money to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Fanwo said it was unfortunate that the commission ignored thorough explanations by the state government on the matter; but chose to heed allegations from “hired guns.”

He added that it was unfortunate that the commission chose to believe allegations that it fixed N19 billion out of the amount in a new generation bank.

Related News

The commissioner challenged the commission to exhibit professionalism in its affairs, noting, however, that the state government was yet to receive details of the judgement.

Fanwo declared that the state government would address the media after receiving the Certified True Copy of the judgment.

The commission withdrew the suit seeking the forfeiture of N20 billion bail-out funds granted to the Kogi State Government by Sterling Bank.

The money, which was meant for the payment of civil servants was alleged to have been domiciled in an interest-yielding account with the bank by officials of the state government.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke granted the order of withdrawal on Friday sequel to a motion filed and argued by EFCC counsel, Mr Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), leading Mr Rotimi Oyedepo.

Pinheiro listed six grounds upon which the judge granted the prayer, adding that “the EFCC is a responsible body”.

One of the grounds was that questions resulting in the commencement of the suit had been clarified, and an intention had been shown to return the sum of N19.4 billion to the Central Bank of Nigeria