N20 Billion Bailout: Kogi Assembly Summons Finance Commissioner, Sterling Bank Manager, Others

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The Kogi State House of Assembly on Thursday issued a summon on the State Commissioner for Finance, Asiwaju Idris, State Accountant General, State Auditor General, and Lokoja Branch Manager of Sterling Bank to appear before it over allegations of fraud against the state government.

The Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly, Mathew Kolawole announce the invitation during the presentation the 2022 budget by Governor Yahaya Bello before the hallowed chamber. 

Kolawole said the men are to appear before the house next week Tuesday to clarify the allegations, with a view to unravelling what monies were returned to the Central Bank.

He said a committee was set up by the house to investigate the allegation against the government, which were discovered to be false.

“The outcome of the litigation arising from the allegation against the state government by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which saw the anti-graft agency withdraw the case is a clear manifestation of the probity and transparency of Your Excellency’s style of governance. This Assembly is really proud of you on this” he said.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) withdrew the suit seeking the forfeiture of N20 billion bailout funds granted to the Kogi State government.

On August 31, 2021, Tijani Ringim, a Lagos high court judge, had frozen the Kogi State account domiciled in Sterling Bank Plc, following an ex parte application brought by the EFCC.

The commission had alleged that the money, which was meant for the payment of salaries in the state, was instead kept in an interest-yielding account with the name ‘Kogi State Salary Bailout Account’.

At the resumption of proceedings on Friday, Kemi Pinheiro, counsel to the EFCC, moved an application dated October 13, seeking discontinuance of the matter.

One of the grounds of the application was that N19.3 billion will be returned to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

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