The Lagos Division of the Federal High Court on Tuesday ordered the freezing of the Kogi State salary bailout account domiciled in Sterling Bank over a N20 billion loan obtained from the bank.
The EFCC had made an ex-parte application before the judge which, according to the agency, was brought pursuant to section 44(2) of the Constitution and section 34(1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act and under the court’s jurisdiction.
A. O. Mohammed, counsel to the EFCC, told the court that the order was necessary to stop further dissipation of the funds in the account.
According to Mr Mohammed, the N20 billion loan, meant to augment the salary payment and running cost of the state, was kept in an interest-yielding account with Sterling bank.
On his own side, the Kogi State Government, on Thursday drew the battle line with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over a purported order freezing its account with a new generation bank.
The state government alleged that the EFCC was out to tarnish the image of the state governor, Yahaya Bello, and members of his team.
While threatening to seek redress in court to clear its image, the government said it was embarrassed by the action of the EFCC.
The state Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, at a press conference in Abuja, insisted that the claims made by the anti-graft agency were false.
According to him, the government may jettison its decision to sue the EFCC if the anti-graft agency tenders a public apology.