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The Kogi State House of Assembly has criticised the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegations of financial mismanagement against Governor Yahaya Bello regarding the diversion of N20 Billion into a fixed deposit account.
This was the core of the issues discussed during its plenary on Tuesday.
The EFCC had mandated the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to grant an order to freeze an account purportedly belonging to the Kogi State Government in Sterling Bank PLC.
However, the lawmakers noted that this move was a ploy to tarnish the image of Governor Bello and the state at large.
This was contained in the motion presented before the house by the speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly, Prince Mathew Kolawole and read by the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Mohammed.
It condemned the EFCC for raising what it said was a false alarm to allegedly put the governor and the state in a bad light.
The Assembly further directed the EFCC to tender an unreserved public apology to the governor and Kogi State for the embarrassment while threatening to institute a lawsuit over the claims.
An excerpt from the motion reads, “My Distinguished Honourable Members, it is shocking that a few days ago, the Nigerian Social Media space and Television Stations were agog with a screaming FAKE NEWS of 20 billion Naira, Bailout Loan for salaries approved by the Federal Government, through. Sterling Bank, diverted into a fixed deposit account at Sterling Bank, Lokoja.
“Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) raised the false alarm of the said 20 billion naira warehoused in a fixed deposit account, yielding interest; thereby misleading a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to grant an order to freeze an account (0073572696) purportedly belonging to Kogi State Government in Sterling Bank PLC; which in reality does not belong to the Kogi State Government according to Sterling Bank.
“It was alleged that part of the same fund was drawn down, without using the fund for what it was meant for. These false statements have now been debunked by the State Government in a press statement and Sterling Bank which allegedly holds the account.
“Distinguished colleagues, it is now on record that Sterling Bank Plc, on 1st September 2021, in an official response to a demand letter from the Kogi State Government refuted the EFCC’s allegation in totality.
”The Committee established in its Report that there was no truth to the said allegation as the Bailout facility had been totally drawn down by October 2019. Consequently, it is clear that the actions of the EFCC were an attempt to tarnish the image of His Excellency, Yahaya Bello, and distract him.
“The said Report and the official response by the bank therefore clearly vindicates the Governor and his administration.”
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