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N20bn bailout loan: Release report of investigation, Kogi dares EFCC

The government of Kogi state has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to publicise the report of its investigations on the alleged N20 billion bailout fund fraud.

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

The EFCC at the resumed hearing on Friday withdrew its case against the state.

The anti-graft agency among other grounds for the application said there was a consensus that N19.3 billion would be returned to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Recall that the Kogi state government had earlier asked the anti-graft agency for a public apology, claiming that the allegations were false.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Kingsley Fanwo, Kogi commissioner for information, challenged the EFCC to provide facts of its investigation.

“It is our belief that the withdrawal of the suit by the EFCC without informing the court of the facts is a deliberate and face-saving effort by the commission, all in a bid to ‘nail’ at all cost, the Kogi government and tarnish its image,” Fanwo said.

“Nigerians should further ask the EFCC whether a commercial bank can simply undertake to transfer a customer’s money from the customers’ account without the order of any court mandating such transfer or a forfeiture?

“Nigerians also deserve to know what becomes of the criminal allegation that the EFCC made, when it informed the federal high court that the sum of N666,666,666.64 out of the N20 billion bailout loan had been dissipated and that same was being traced.

“Nigerians will want to know if the EFCC has found the money, if so, in whose custody was it found? Have charges been preferred against the custodian of the said funds?

“Or has the EFCC also abandoned that chase? Nigerians deserve to know the truth. We have, as of October 2019, fully disbursed our bailout funds and are already religiously repaying the loan to Sterling Bank Plc.

“Finally, while we reserve all our legal rights against the EFCC, we reiterate our demand for an unreserved apology from the EFCC as contained in our letter to the Chairman of the EFCC on  September 6.”

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