The Kogi State government on Sunday accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of implementing a hatchet job allegedly conceived by unnamed politicians with its latest statement that the government has returned N19.3 billion bail-out funds allegedly “hidden” by the state to the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The government gave the EFCC 48 hours ultimatum to retract the statement or be prepared for a court action.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, made the state government’s position known at a press conference in Lagos.
Fanwo claimed that the plan is to tarnish what he described as the rising political image of state governor, Yahaya Bello, adding describing it as “a hatchet job conceived by politicians and implemented by an irresponsible EFCC headed by Abdulrasheed Bawa.”
He said, “Let it be known that the Kogi State government refutes every bit of these false allegations being peddled by the EFCC.
“The Kogi State government had disbursed its bailout loans for the purpose of which it was granted as of October 2019.
“There is therefore no ‘hidden bailout funds/loan’ belonging to Kogi State that is capable of being returned to the CBN or frozen by an order of court.
“The EFCC knows this. The fear of exposure of its lies in court and the attendant sanctions informed its decision to hurriedly withdraw the sham suit it filed in court.
“Consequently, the Kogi State government demands a retraction of this most malicious press release and of all allegations of crimes levied against the government and its governor.
“We further demand an apology published within 48 hours from today in one national daily and on all EFCC official and social media platforms addressed to His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the Executive Governor of Kogi State and the entire government and people of Kogi State.”