The Kogi State Government has passed a remark on the Friday’s judgment which saw the state forfeiting N19,333 333,333.36 to the Central Bank of Nigeria, even as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission withdrew the suit against the government.
The EFCC’s decision to discontinue the suit was sequel to the Management of Sterling Bank agreeing to the existence of a mirror account with the quoted amount and arranging to return it to the CBN.
Reacting to the judgment at the presentation of awards to senior journalists that participated in the Governor Yaya Bello, GYB, Essay Competition for Nigeria’s Political and Crime Editors in Lagos, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo said the government would respond when they get the certified copy of the judgment.
He said it was unfortunate that the EFCC ignored thorough explanations by the state government on the matter but chose to heed allegations from “hired guns.”
He challenged the commission to exhibit professionalism in its affairs, noting, however, that the state government had yet to receive details of the judgement.
Before the recent judgment, Fanwo, the state’s spokesman had organized a press briefing where he denied the existence of such money allegedly fixed in an account with Sterling Bank.
He denied the existence of such amount in any of the state government’s operated accounts, accusing the EFCC of doing a bad job.
“For the records, the Kogi State Government vehemently denies having the sum of N19,333,333,333.36 or any other fund in a fixed deposit account with Sterling Bank Plc as alleged. The Kogi State Government states that it never gave any instruction to Sterling Bank Plc, and the said bank also did not fix on its behalf any bailout fund or any other funds.
“The Kogi State Government states that, as of the 23rd day of July 2019, when we utilized the monies for the payment of salaries and allowances to Kogi State civil servants, and up to the 31st day of August 2021, when the purported court order was produced, it had approximately N46,000,000 cumulatively in all the salary and bailout accounts it operates,” he said.