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N20bn bailout: Kogi govt demands apology from EFCC

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N20bn bailout: Kogi govt demands apology from EFCC

The Kogi State government on Friday demanded an apology from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for alleged “embarrassment” of taking it to court over a 20 billion naira bailout fund .

Information Commissioner in Kogi, Kingsley Fanwo, outlined the government’s position at the awards ceremony for senior journalists who entered the GYB Essay Contest for Nigeria‘s Political and Criminal Writers in Lagos.

The EFCC told the court on Friday that it was no longer pursuing the case after the state government pledged to return the money to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

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Mr. Fanwo said it was unfortunate that the commission ignored the state government’s extensive explanations on the matter; but chose to heed the “guns” allegations.

He added that it was unfortunate that the commission chose to believe allegations that it fixed 19 billion naira on the amount in a new generation bank.

The commissioner challenged the commission to be professional in its affairs, however noting that the state government had not yet received the details of the judgment.

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Mr. Fanwo said the state government will address the media after receiving the certified copy of the judgment.

The commission withdrew the lawsuit demanding the confiscation of the N20 billion bailout funds granted to the Kogi state government by a new generation bank.

The money, which was intended to pay civil servants, was reportedly domiciled in an interest-bearing account with the bank by state government officials.

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On Friday, Judge Chukwujekwu Aneke granted the withdrawal order following a petition filed and argued by EFCC lawyer Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), at the head of Rotimi Oyedepo.

Mr Pinheiro listed six reasons why the judge granted the prayer, adding that “the EFCC is a responsible body”.

One of the reasons was that the issues that led to the initiation of the prosecution had been clarified and an intention had been demonstrated to return the sum of N19.4 billion to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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