The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday October 15, filed an utility earlier than a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, to discontinue a case involving the N20billion Kogi State wage bail-out mortgage.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke granted the appliance which is sequel to the choice of the administration of Sterling Bank Plc to return N19, 333,333,333.36 standing within the credit score of the frozen account to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Recall that on August 31, 2021, Justice Tijani Garba Ringim had ordered the freezing of the account following an ex-parte utility filed by the EFCC.
The anti-graft company, in a 13-paragraph affidavit in help of the ex-parte utility, had acknowledged that it obtained a reputable and direct intelligence, which led to the tracing of the funds moderately suspected to be proceeds of illegal actions in an account No. 0073572696 domiciled in Sterling Bank, Plc with the title Kogi State Salary Bailout Account.
EFCC alleged that the cash meant for the cost of salaries within the state, was saved in an interest-yielding account with the title ‘Kogi State Salary Bailout Account’.
At the final adjourned sitting, counsel to the Kogi State authorities, Sam Eguro (SAN), had advised Justice Aneke, to whom the matter was re-assigned, that his shopper had filed processes towards the interim order granted by Justice Ringim, and that the EFCC had equally filed reply to the identical.
In his response, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, had admitted being served with the processes, and added that he had filed his counter.
At resumption of proceedings on Friday, an EFCC counsel Kemi Pinheiro moved an utility searching for to discontinue the matter.
The counsel mentioned;
“That the administration of Sterling Bank Plc, the place account No 0073572696 with the title Kogi wage bailout account is domiciled, has since acknowledged the existence of the mentioned account of their ebook however claimed identical was a mirror account.”
Pinheiro additionally mentioned the administration of the financial institution had clarified the questions resulting in the graduation of the swimsuit and has indicated an intention to return the N19,333,333,333.36 to the CBN.
Kogi state authorities’s counsel, Eguro additionally acknowledged the discover of discontinuation.
Ruling on the appliance, Justice Aneke mentioned that “since that is what they’re asking for, the appliance is due to this fact granted as plead.”
Reacting to the event whereas presenting awards to journalists who participated within the GYB essay competitors for Nigeria’s political and crime editors in Lagos, Kingsley Fanwo, Kogi commissioner for training mentioned it was “unfortunate” that EFCC selected to consider “hired guns”.
Insisting that the company “ignored thorough explanations by the state government on the matter, but chose to believe allegations that it fixed N19 billion out of the amount in a new generation bank”, he requested the EFCC to exhibit professionalism in finishing up its duties.