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Kogi govt denies ownership, threatens to sue EFCC - (See why)

On Friday, the EFCC announced that it had recovered N19.33 billion in Kogi salary bailout funds from a Sterling Bank account and had returned them to the CBN.

The Kogi State Government, however, denied ownership of the N19.3 billion returned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Sunday (EFCC).

Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, who happens to be Kogi State Commissioner for Information and Communication, dismissed the charges as "mischievous, untrue, and politically motivated" when speaking to reporters on Sunday.

The state has also warned legal action if the EFCC does not retract the statement within 48 hours.

Fanwo added that Kogi State does not have any Sterling Bank fixed deposit account, as the bank clarified in a letter dated Sept. 1.

He claimed that the state government has been disbursing bailout loans since October 2019 and that there are no secret bailout monies or loans belonging to Kogi that might be returned to the CBN or frozen by a court order.

The EFCC is aware of this, which is why it withdrew the bailout money lawsuit it had brought in court.

He was cited by NAN as stating, "The Kogi government did not also open or manage a Kogi State salary bailout fixed deposit account, No. 0073572696, where the abovementioned funds were purportedly warehoused and dispersed and now supposedly returned to the CBN."

Fanwo also demanded the EFCC to give information on the fixed deposit account, claiming that the development was meant to smear Gov. Yahaya Bello's increasing political profile.

"We also want an apology addressed to the governor and the whole government and people of Kogi, published in one national newspaper and on all EFCC official and social media channels within 48 hours of today," he said.

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