By Stephen Adeleye
The EFCC in August alleged that the Kogi N19.3 billion bailout fund domiciled at Sterling Bank was partly misappropriated and the state account frozen on the orders of a High Court in Lagos.
The Njgeria news agency recalls that the EFCC on Friday withdrew its complaint, demanding the confiscation of the 20 billion naira rescue fund.
In a statement Sunday by Information Commissioner Kingsley Fanwo, the state government said the EFCC, despite the withdrawal, should be able to provide the facts of its investigations.
He also urged Nigerians to ask the EFCC in whose custody he found part of the bailout fund that was said to have been dissipated.
Fanwo insisted that the alleged naira 19.3 billion that Sterling Bank pledged to transfer to the EFCC at the Central Bank of Nigeria does not belong to the Kogi government, and that the state has not entered into any agreement, nor with Sterling. Bank or the EFCC, to return any rescue funds to the CBN as described.
“We believe that the EFCC’s withdrawal from the prosecution without informing the Court of the facts is a deliberate and face-saving effort, all with the aim of ‘nailing down’ the Kogi government at all costs and tarnishing its image, ”Fanwo said.
He said the EFCC violated an earlier court order because it did not report its findings to the court, but instead withdrawn the prosecution unceremoniously, without the facts of its investigation being known to the court and the public. .
According to him, residents of Kogi and even Nigerians in general, should instead ask the EFCC to publish on its official platforms, the report of its investigation into the ownership of the said sum of N19.333.333.333.36, and the location of the sum of N666,666,666.64, which they believed had dissipated.
The commissioner added: “Nigerians should further ask the EFCC if a commercial bank can simply agree to transfer a customer’s money from the customer’s account without a court order ordering a such transfer or confiscation?
Nigerians also deserve to know what happens to the criminal allegation made by the EFCC, when it informed the Federal High Court that the sum of 666,666,666.64 naira on the 20 billion bailout loan naira had been dissipated and the same was being traced.
“Nigerians will want to know if the EFCC found the money, if so, in whose custody was it found? Have charges been brought against the custodian of said funds?
“Or did the EFCC also drop this lawsuit?” Nigerians deserve to know the truth.
“In October 2019, we fully disbursed our rescue funds and are already religiously repaying the loan to Sterling Bank Plc,” he said.
The government spokesman said covering up these inalienable facts of the case would be misleading and unethical.
“Finally, while we reserve all of our legal rights against the EFCC, we reiterate our request for an unqualified apology from the EFCC, as set out in our letter to the President of the EFCC on September 6.
“We hope that the EFCC will honor the said request to regain the confidence of Nigerians,” Fanwo said.
He revealed that the Kogi government had, as newly released documents reveal, sought further clarification from Sterling Bank to assert its innocence in the matter.
The Commissioner said: “In the strength of our innocence, the Kogi government wrote on October 4 to Sterling Bank, requesting further clarification of the disputed account. The Bank has not only strengthened its earlier position that the account is a mirror account; he also made it clear that the Kogi government has nothing to do with opening or running the account.
“All these facts are in their response received by the Kogi government on October 5th.
“The state government again urges the commission to issue a public apology and to refrain from any action that may further damage the image of the nation,” Fanwo said.
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