The agency accused the Kogi government of depositing the said amount in an interest-yielding account rather than the account created to pay the workers’ salaries.
On Tuesday, 31st of August, 2021, the judge, Tijjani Ringim, ordered the state government’s account frozen and adjourned the case till December 1 for the report of the EFCC investigation.
Kogi state government reaction
The Kogi government, who was represented by commissioners and aides, at a press conference in Abuja, on Thursday, September 2nd, 2021, denied the suits and threatened to fight the case till a reasonable conclusion.
Leading the conference, Kingsley Fanwo, the state commissioner for information and communication, stated that the state does not operate any fixed account with Sterling Bank as implied by the commission to the court which caused the ex parte order.
Against the anti-graft court approved facts that the government has a sum of N19.3 billion in the fixed account while N666.6 million has been mismanaged by Governor Yahaya Bello-led government, Mr Fanwo contradicted, stressing that the state has approximately N46 million across its three operational accounts with the alleged bank.
He noted that the EFCC has failed in its main assignment and accused it of misleading the court as well as the public.
Mr. Fanwo disclosed that the state government is preparing to sue not just the commission but perhaps the media houses which he accused were sponsored by his boss’ political enemies to tarnish his image.
He noted that the commission had never called nor invited any of its officials for clarity at any point.
To buttress his claim, the commissioner showed journalists a copy of its bank statement. The bank statement came with a signed two-page letter where Sterling bank separated itself from the EFCC’s action.
Kogi does not own a fixed account with us – Sterling
In the signed letter which is in reply to the state’s request, and also made available to journalists, Sterling bank noted that it is dismayed by the anti-graft allegations and refuted having an application to Kogi state to open a fixed account whatsoever.
With reference to the account number the commission cited in a submitted document before the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, the bank debated that the named account is an internal digit the organisation uses to monitor Kogi State account.
The bank confirmed that the state government does not operate a fixed account and noted that there is no mandate letter from the Kogi State government to open account number 0073572696 with Sterling.
However, the bank disclosed that Sterling Bank account 0073572696 is an internal (mirror) account operated by the organization for purposes of managing the Kogi State; the bank subsequently registered the breakdown of the state funds in its three operational accounts.
I am Akinleu Toyin Comfort, a freelancer from Nigeria, I love to write and i love reading novels.