Nigeria’s Anti-graft Agency, EFCC Seeks Forfeiture Of N20billion Salary Loan Allegedly Diverted By Kogi Government

Officials of Kogi State authorities have been accused of diverting the N20 billion bailout secured by the state authorities to pay employees.

It was learnt that the cash was diverted into an interest-yielding account.

Nigeria's Anti-graft Agency, EFCC Seeks Forfeiture Of N20billion Salary Loan Allegedly Diverted By Kogi Government 2

The cash was put in Sterling Bank, with the account identify: Kogi State wage bail-out account.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is looking for a court docket order to make sure the cash is forfeited and returned to the coffers of the Nigerian authorities. 

The Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos presided over by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke on Tuesday adjourned until 15 October 2021 listening to of all purposes in respect of the cash.

 

At the listening to of the matter, counsel for the Kogi State authorities, Prof. Sam Erogbo, SAN, advised Justice Aneke that his consumer had filed processes towards the interim order granted by Justice Ringim, and that the EFCC had equally filed a reply to the identical.

He advised the court docket that he wanted time to answer the EFCC’s counter-claim and likewise requested for a brief date to listen to his purposes.

 

Counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, in his response, admitted being served with the processes and added that he had equally filed a counter-claim.

Consequently, Justice Aneke adjourned the matter until October 15, 2021, for listening to of all of the purposes.

Justice Tijani Garba Ringim had on 31 August 2021 ordered the freezing of the account, following an ex-parte utility filed by the EFCC.

The EFCC, in a 13-paragraph affidavit in help of the ex-parte utility, stated the cash was moderately suspected to be proceeds of illegal actions in an account No. 0073572696 domiciled in Sterling Bank, Plc with the identify Kogi State Salary Bailout Account.

A. O. Mohammed, counsel for the EFCC, had urged the court docket to grant the Order to stop additional dissipation of the funds within the account, in transferring the appliance for the interim forfeiture of the funds on August 31, 2021. 

The N20 billion mortgage meant to enhance the wage cost and operating price of the federal government was stored in an interest-yielding account with the financial institution, Mohammed had additionally advised Justice Ringim. 

“Instead of using the money for the purpose it was meant for, Sterling Bank Plc, acting on the instruction of the Kogi State Government, transferred the money from the loan account and placed it in a fixed deposit account.”

He additionally advised the court docket that the financial institution had but to current any credible proof to point out that the power was properly secured.

Justice Ringim ordered the freezing of the account quantity 0073572696, and likewise directed the publication of the order in a nationwide newspaper by the EFCC, after listening to the applicant’s counsel. 

The Commission was additionally ordered to make a quarterly report back to the court docket on the progress of its investigation.

The Kogi State authorities has denied the allegations. 

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