Court Fixes October 15 To Hear Anti-graft Agency, EFCC’s Suit Against Kogi Government Over N20billion Fraud

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi has adjourned till October 15, the listening to of all functions referring to the N20 billion bailout mortgage allegedly belonging to the Kogi State authorities, stated to have been warehoused by the Sterling Bank Plc.

The adjournment was sequel to the appliance made by counsel to Kogi State authorities, Sam Erogbo (SAN), who instructed the courtroom that he wanted time to review the counter affidavit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to the processes.

Court Fixes October 15 To Hear Anti-graft Agency, EFCC's Suit Against Kogi Government Over N20billion Fraud 2

At the resumed listening to of the matter on Tuesday, the counsel to Kogi State authorities, Erogbo instructed the courtroom that his consumer has filed course of towards the interim order granted by Justice Ringim and that the EFCC has equally filed counter to the processes.

Erogbo instructed the courtroom that he wanted time to reply to the EFCC’s counter. Consequently, he requested the courtroom for a brief date.

Counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, admitted being served with the processes and that he has equally filed counter to such.

Following the adjournment request of the Kogi State counsel, Justice Aneke, adjourned the matter until October 15, for a listening to of all functions.

Recall that Sahara Reporters had reported {that a} Federal High Court in Lagos on August 31 ordered the freezing of a checking account belonging to the Kogi State authorities over a N20 billion mortgage obtained from Sterling Bank Plc.

This adopted arguments from the EFCC’s counsel, Abbas Mohammed, who knowledgeable the courtroom that the order was essential in order to protect the remaining and abate additional dissipation of the funds within the account.

Justice Tijjani Garba ordered that the account must be frozen pending the conclusion of the investigation or potential prosecution by the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa.

SaharaReporters additionally reported that the EFCC had approached the courtroom for the order in an ex parte utility introduced pursuant to part 44(2) of the Constitution and part 34(1) of the EFCC Act, and below the inherent jurisdiction of the courtroom.

The EFCC in its 13-paragraph affidavit in assist of the ex-parte summons deposed to by a member of a group of investigators connected to the Chairman Monitoring Unit Lagos of the EFCC said that the Commission acquired a reputable and direct intelligence which led to the tracing of funds moderately suspected to be proceeds of illegal actions warehoused in account No. 0073572696 domiciled in Sterling Bank, Plc with the identify Kogi State Salary Bailout Account.

He stated the Commission acted on the stated intelligence and assigned identical to the Chairman Monitoring Unit, the place it was found that on  April 1, 2019, the administration of Sterling Bank plc authorised a proposal of N20,000,000,000.00 bailout mortgage facility for Kogi State Government.

According to the deponent, on June 19, 2019, fiscal yr, the Kogi State Government, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Office of the Honourable Commissioner, utilized for a Credit facility of Twenty Billion Naira (N20, 000,000,000) with an rate of interest of 9 per cent for a tenure of 240 months from Sterling Bank Plc”.

He added that the said facility was meant to augment the salary payment and running cost of the State Government.

He stated further that on June 26, 2019, the credit facility offer was accepted vide a memorandum of acceptance signed by the His Excellency, Yahaya Bello, the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Asiwaju Asiru Idris, the Commissioner of Finance Kogi State and one Alhaji Momoh Jibrin, Accountant General, Kogi State.

He stated that before the said application for a loan, Kogi State Government on the 19th June 2019 vides a letter to the Manager Sterling Bank Plc, Lokoja applied for an account opening in the Bank with the name Kogi State Salary Bailout Account with Alhaji Momoh Jubril, Accountant General of the State and Elijah Evinemi Ag. Director Treasury as the signatories to the said account.

“That upon the opening of the stated account with No. 0072969301, Sterling financial institution Plc disbursed wage intervention mortgage to the tune of N20,000,000,000.00 to the account.

“That rather than used the intervention funds for the purpose for which it was granted, the State Government proceeded to open a fix deposit account No. 0073572696.

“That on the 25 day of July 2019 Sterling Bank Plc appearing on the instruction of the Kogi State Government transferred the cash from the mortgage account and positioned identical on the aforementioned mounted deposit account.

“That the said Account sought to be frozen received the Sum of Twenty Billion Naira, (N20,000,000,000) on the 25th July 2019. That as at 1st day of April, 2021 the balance standing to the credit of the said fixed deposit account was N19,333,333,333.36. That we are still tracing why the sum of N666,666,666.64 has been deducted from the said funds and were not used for the payment of the salary.

“That the Commission has the statutory mandate to forestall the fee of financial and monetary Crimes with the shores of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. That investigation on this matter remains to be ongoing and this utility is pertinent to safe the funds within the stated account to forestall them from being completely dissipated.”

After listening to the counsel’s submissions, Justice Ringim granted the request and ordered the EFCC to publish the order in a nationwide newspaper and make quarterly stories to the courtroom on the progress of its investigation.

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Court Fixes October 15 To Hear Anti-graft Agency, EFCC's Suit Against Kogi Government Over N20billion Fraud

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