By Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab
Recent revelation from Sterling Bank’s affidavit has revealed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission lied about the N20bn Kogi bail-out fund.
The development has led to the withdrawal of the case by the EFCC to avoid embarrassment.
Recalled that there has been a running battle between the Kogi State Government and the EFCC over N20bn Kogi bail-out fund.
The Sterling Bank account 0073572696 is an internal (mirror) account operated by the Bank for purposes of managing the Kogi State salary bailout facility.
Another crucial evidence that seems to have completely changed the narratives as shown by the affidavit deposed to by the Chief Compliance Officer of Sterling Bank, Muktadir Jaiyeola, with the Managing Director of the Bank as 2nd applicant, in a suit on the matter filed at a Federal High Court, sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on December 1, 2021.
The affidavit came upon repeated invitations by the Kogi State House of Assembly to the bank to clear the air on the allegations by the EFCC against the government.
Sterling Bank, in the affidavit, sighted by this paper, contrary to the claims of the EFCC, indicated that the Kogi State Government did not fix any N20 billion with it and confirmed that the funds alleged to have been fixed were fully disbursed to several beneficiaries at the instance of the Kogi State Government.
In Paragraph 12 of the affidavit, the Bank said, “At the direction of the Kogi State Government, payments were made from Kogi State Government Salary Account to several beneficiaries between the 23rd July 2019 and 25th July 2019 and the entirety of the Kogi State Salary Bail out intervention fund in the sum of NGN20 Billion was fully disbursed at the instance of the Kogi State Government.”
Frowning at repeated invitation sent by the State House of Assembly to the Managing Director, asking him to appear in person, the Bank further exonerated the state government.
In Paragraph 23 of the affidavit, the Bank reiterated that there was nothing like a fixed deposit account opened by the Kogi State Government for the bailout fund as stated in its September 1, 2021 response letter to the state.
“There was no mandate to open the alleged fixed deposit account;
“The Kogi State Government did not operate a fixed deposit account;
“The account referred to as a fixed deposit account is an internal account operated for the purpose of managing the bail out facility,” Sterling Bank said.
Following the cold trail in the investigations into the alleged diversion of the bail-out fund, the state government, through the Commissioner for Finance, Mukadam Asiru Idris, in a letter dated 24th November 2022, almost a year after an initial letter to the CBN to clear the air, reminded the bank to clear the air over the issue and make its investigations public, but it reportedly got no response till date.
The Kogi State Government alleged, on Thursday, that the fresh media trial by the EFCC was in continuation of the Commission’s “Destroy Kogi” agenda, having met a brickwall with its “bailout fund plot.”
See below documents: