The Kogi State Government has condemned the court order freezing her fixed deposit account domiciled in Sterling Bank Plc.
Naija News reports that a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State had ruled that the state account should remain closed pending the conclusion of the investigation or possible prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Justice Tijjani Ringim, in granting the exparte application by the EFCC for the freezing of the suspicious account, directed the anti-graft agency to make a quarterly report of its investigation to the court.
The EFCC said the Kogi government had in 2019, approached Sterling bank with an N20 billion loan request, but it allegedly fixed N666bn bailout funds in the bank to yield interest.
Speaking to reporters in Abuja on Thursday, Commissioner of Information, Kingsley Fanwo, berated the anti-graft agency for dragging the state government to court over false claims.
Fanwo described the allegation of the EFCC that it mismanaged funds as spurious and baseless, urging the public to disregard the claims by the anti-graft agency.
He stated that the loan taken from the bank was actually used in augmenting the payment of salaries and wages to workers and offset other running costs.
The commissioner added that the state government will appeal the court judgement which ordered the freezing of her account.
He said: “The EFCC also swore under oath before the court that her own investigations confirmed part of the funds corresponding to the Biblical Mark of the Beast in the amount of N666,666,666.64 to have been misappropriated by the Kogi state government.
“The commission even swore that as of a specified date this year, to wit, April 1st 2021, which is, of course, the globally notorious April Fools’ Day, the sum of N19,333,333,333.36 was allegedly standing to the credit of the account into which we had allegedly diverted and fixed monies meant for the payment of salaries to our workers.
“The EFCC alleged to the court in self-righteous indignation that she sought an ex parte order to secure the balance of the alleged funds still in the account from further dissipation pending investigation and possible prosecution of unnamed malfeasors.
“The current balance in the said Kogi State Bail Out Account and as of the date of the alleged ex-parte Order is the sum of N999,190.50.
“Accordingly, the allegation that any part of the bailout fund was not used for the purpose for which it was secured is not only patently false, it is malicious and unsupportable by any records, including bank statements relating to all material times.
The commissioner expressed concern that EFCC which is supposed to be engaging in fighting corruption is “engaging in fraud.
“We remain concerned that a Federal Agency of the calibre and responsibilities of the EFCC which is charged to combat financial fraud is the one engaging in fraud and misrepresentation of facts for the purpose of securing needless Orders meant to ridicule a court of competent jurisdiction while simultaneously attempting to drag the pristine white robes of the most transparent and accountable state government in Nigeria, to with, the Kogi State Government led by His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello in their barrel of palm oil.
“The Kogi State Government will seek appropriate redress and will resist most vehemently the instant attempt and any further attempt to bring her into disrepute.”