Saturday, November 27, 2021

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N20bn Kogi fund: Gov Bello fumes, gives EFCC 48-hour ultimatum to apologize

The Kogi State Government has given a 48-hour ultimatum to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to apologise and retract a malicious statement that it kept N20 billion bailout fund meant to pay salaries in a commercial bank for interest.

In a briefing on Sunday in Lagos, the Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, said the state government did not open or create the said account.

“I want to assure you that after 48 hours from today, if they refuse to retract their ill-fated, false, politically motivated, irresponsible press statement, we will drag them to court,” the commissioner said.

The commissioner equally challenged the anti-graft agency to produce the account mandate and details of those who operated the account.

Fanwo’s reaction comes as the Kogi State Government said it has gotten the bank’s response which exonerated them from running the account.

According to the state, the government has enough evidence against the EFCC to have a field day in court.

“The Kogi State government does not currently operate or maintain a fixed-deposit account with Sterling Bank.

“There is no mandate letter from the Kogi State Government to open account number 0073572696 with Sterling Bank. Sterling Bank account 0073572696 is an internal mirror account operated by the bank for purposes of managing the Kogi State Salary Bailout facility,” Fanwo added.

The EFCC in a 13-paragraph affidavit in support of an ex-parte application has stated that it received a credible and direct intelligence which led to the tracing of the fund reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities of accounts domiciled in Sterling Bank.

The anti-graft agency has since returned the funds to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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