World News

Kogi Assembly knocks EFCC over graft allegation against goverment.

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello

Kogi State House of Assembly has berated the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for accusing Governor Yahaya Bello of diverting N20 billion into a fixed deposit account.

At plenary yesterday, the House described the reported order of the anti-graft agency for the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to freeze an account purportedly belonging to Kogi State Government in a commercial bank, as an attempt to tarnish Bello’s image and distract him.

The motion presented before the house by the Speaker, Matthew Kolawole, and read by the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Mohammed, condemned the EFCC for raising false alarm, to paint the governor and the state in bad light.

While passing a confidence vote in Governor Bello, the Assembly directed the EFCC to tender unreserved public apology to the governor and the state for the embarrassment.

It threatened to take legal action against the EFCC for orchestrating the falsehood and propagating it.

The motion reads: “My distinguished honourable members, it is shocking that few days ago, the Nigerian social media space and television stations were agog with a screaming Fake News of N20 billion Bailout Loan for Salaries approved by the Federal Government was diverted into a fixed deposit account.

“EFCC raised the false alarm that the said N20 billion warehoused in a fixed deposit account was yielding interest, thereby misleading a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos. It was alleged that part of the fund was drawn down, without using it for what it was meant for.”

These false statements have now been debunked by the state government.”

He disclosed that following the allegation, the Public Accounts Committee of the House was instructed to investigate the disbursement and utilisation of the last tranche of the bailout, adding: “The committee established in its report that there was no truth in the allegation, as the bailout facility had been totally drawn down by October 2019.”

Supporting the motion, Kilani Olushola Olumo (Ijumu Constituency) noted the importance of the ‘GYB’ brand to Kogites, adding that the House would not be allow it to be dented.

Musa Jimoh (Yagba East Constituency) noted that the Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Planning was able to write to the bank, giving it ultimatum to reply in less than 24 hours, to clear the name of the governor and the state government.

He added that the bank replied swiftly, and put a lie to the EFCC allegations.