The Kogi State Government has accused the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa of witch-hunt, and desperation to crucify the state.
The government stated this in response to the arraignment of the brothers of Governor Yahaya Bello, whom have been remanded in prison by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, pending the fulfilment of their bail conditions over an alleged N10b naira fraud.
The duo were arraigned by the EFCC on a 10-count charge of misappropriation and money laundering, alongside one Abdulsalami Hudu, Cahier of Kogi State Government House Administration whom the anti-graft agency said was now at large.
Reacting to the development, the government in a press statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Communications Kingsley Fanwo, said it would allow the law take its course and prove its innocence.
Fanwo said: “It would be recalled that this same EFCC once accused the Kogi State Government of stashing 20 billion naira bailout funds in a fixed deposit account in Sterling Bank. When the legal fireworks were about to ruffle their biased feathers, they quickly backed out and claimed the money had been returned to the Central Bank of Nigeria. Till date, they have not shown Nigerians any proof of the return even when Sterling Bank Plc has under oath denied the return of any monies belonging to the Kogi State Government. It is trite that what does not exist cannot be taken or returned.
“The Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa has shown a desperate penchant for satisfying his sponsors who are bent on disparaging the good image of the Government and people of Kogi State for political gains. As a Government, it is our responsibility to defend the integrity of the State and her people.
“The media trial by the EFCC is a calculated and orchestrated plan to embarrass the State Government by going after its Officials and Associates with trumped up charges to satisfy the destructive fangs of their paymasters.
“Let it be on record that no money belonging to the Kogi State Government was laundered. SFTAS is a World Bank accountability project to ensure the Government stays accountable to the people. For many years, Kogi has won Awards as one of the most transparent State Governments in Nigeria. A responsible anti-graft agency would have made Kogi an example of transparency and excellence. However, with its endless wild goose chase, Nigerians would even wonder if EFCC’s obviously biased corruption binoculars are only designed for Kogi State.
“It is not unexpected that the EFCC would feel disappointed that the monies they claimed had been stolen from the coffers of the state have been used to build Nigeria’s best hospitals, good roads, best schools that are about to be commissioned. We cannot help their descent into political pawn. We will continue to make the resources of our state work for our people.
“Nigerians know that the recent Gestapo-like operation against the State was occasioned by EFCC’s failure to sell the “fixed” Bailout funds debacle to the people. They became desperate to save their face from the disgrace bestowed on them by their “Destroy Kogi” Agenda.
“We urge our people not to take the laws into their hands as we are prepared in fact and in conscience for the legal battle ahead.”