Kogi bailout funds: Substantiate your claims within 48 hours, Group tells EFCC
A political group under the aegis of Central Nigeria Young Professionals for Justice and Integration on Wednesday challenged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to publish the account opening process and the account mandate of the Kogi State government to clear the controversy over the bailout fund.
The organisation also issued the EFCC “a 48 hours ultimatum within which it should substantiate the allegation or be ready to consequences.”
The President of CNYPJI, Moses Ejembi, who stated this during a press conference, also accused the commission of embarking on a politically-backed media trial of Governor Yahaya Bello.
The PUNCH reported that the EFCC had earlier accused the Kogi State Government of keeping about N20 billion bailout fund meant to pay workers salaries in a commercial bank in order to yield interest, an allegation denied by the Kogi government.
But speaking with Journalists, Ejembi said, “The EFCC does not need to belabour itself embarking on a media trial at all but it should publish the account opening process and the account mandate of the Kogi State Government.
“It is common knowledge that for such an account to be opened, approval is obtained from: Federal Ministry of Finance; Debt Management Office; Resolution of Kogi State Executive Council; Resolution of Kogi State House of Assembly.”
He also asked the anti-graft commission to publish the mandate and the names and BVNs of the signatories to the said account.
“Again, if the money is in a fixed deposit account, EFCC can do well by publishing the certificate of deposit issued to Kogi State Government by Sterling Bank Plc.
“EFCC has computer software acquired at a humongous cost to the Nigerian taxpayer, that tracks all account transactions, let the EFCC show to Nigerians where or through whose account the interest generated by the fixed deposit account is paid.
“If the salary bail-out fund is N20 billion and EFCC is talking about 19.3 billion without talking about the N666 million component, the public cannot be expected to believe the EFCC without asking questions”, he said.
Ejembi added that despite accusing the Kogi State Government of committing a crime, the EFCC has been silent on prosecution.
“Does the recovery of a stolen good exonerate the thief? This singular conduct has clearly shown that the EFCC has a different agenda to its core mandate in the Kogi matter.
“No single Kogi official has been interrogated on this matter. This is a very worrisome development to all Nigerians who want an agency that will fight corruption and not the political battles of some hidden interests”, he said. (Punch)