The Kogi State Government has denied the ownership of the N19.3billion Naira alleged to have been hidden in starling bank by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC which was returned to the Central Bank. Yahaya Bello, the Governor of Kogi State in his reaction, threaten to sue the anti-graft if it fails to tender its unreserved apology within the next 48hrs. Recall, last week Friday, the EFCC revealed that it has returned the N19.3billion Naira belonging to Kogi state bailout salary to the CBN.
The spokesperson of the Anti-graft, Wilson Uwujaren made this known in Abuja, last Friday. However, while speaking with pressmen on Sunday in Lagos, the Commissioner for Information and Communication in Kogi, Kinsley Fanwo, described the EFCC claim as mischievous, false and politically motivated.
Fanwo said, “Let it be known that the Kogi government has disbursed its bailout loans for the purpose of which it was granted as of October 2019.
“Therefore, no hidden bailout funds/loan belonging to Kogi that is capable of being returned to the CBN or frozen by an order of Court.
“The EFCC knows this, which is why it withdrew the suit is filed in Court on the bailout fund,” he said.
The commissioner stressed that the Kogi State Government does not operate any fixed deposits with starling Bank and this has been clarified by the bank since September 1.
He said, his state government knows nothing about the alleged money returned to the CBN.
Also, Kogi state does not operate a salary bailout fixed deposit with the account number provided by the anti-graft.
Mr Fanwo demanded that if EFCC is serious about its claim, it should provide the detail of the fixed deposit account, as no group can operate such type of account without the agreement on tenancy and interest rate.
He continues, The EFCC must be mindful of how this issue will affect the fortunes of the state, shake investor confidence and the possibility of setting the people of Kogi against its government.
“Consequently, the Kogi government demands a retraction of the statement and all allegations of crimes levied against the Kogi government and its governor.
“We further demand an apology published within 48 hours from today, in one national daily and on all EFCC official and social media platforms, addressed to the governor and the entire government and people of Kogi.”
The commissioner noted that when EFCC claim that the sum of N666,666,666.64 was transferred from the N19.3 billion on the instruction of the Kogi government, the commissioner said that Sterling Bank had clarified that the account was not an operational account but was a mirror account opened for administrative purposes.
He, therefore, demanded that failure by the EFCC to tender an apology on the accusation before 48hrs will leave the state government with no option but to approach the court of law.