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N20 Billion Ransom: Kogi Assembly Convenes Finance Commissioner, Sterling Bank Manager & Others

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The Kogi State House of Assembly ordered the State Finance Commissioner Asiwaju Idris, the State Accountant General, the State Auditor General and the Lokoja Branch Manager of Sterling Bank to appear before it on allegations of fraud against the state government.

Kogi State House Speaker Mathew Kolawole issued the order on Thursday when Governor Yahaya Bello presented the 2022 budget to the holy chamber.

Kolawole said the men are due to appear at the home next week on Tuesday to clarify the allegations, with a view to unraveling what money was returned to the central bank.

He said the house created a committee to investigate the accusation against the government, which was found to be false.

“The result of the litigation that arises from the accusation against the state government by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that saw the anti-bribery agency withdraw the case is a clear manifestation of the probity and transparency of the style of government of His Excellency. This Assembly is really proud of you in this, ”he said.

Newslodge had previously reported that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) dropped the lawsuit seeking the confiscation of N20 billion of ransom funds awarded to the Kogi state government.

On August 31, 2021, Tijani Ringim, a Lagos High Court judge, had frozen the Kogi State account domiciled at Sterling Bank Plc, following an ex parte request filed by the EFCC.

The commission had alleged that the money, which was intended for the payment of wages in the state, was instead held in an interest-bearing account under the name ‘Kogi State Wage Rescue Account’.

As proceedings resumed on Friday, Kemi Pinheiro, a lawyer for the EFCC, submitted a request dated October 13 seeking the suspension of the matter.

One of the reasons for the request was that 19.3 billion naira would be returned to the Central Bank of Nigeria

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