The Kogi State Government has taken the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to court over allegations that it tampered with N19.3 billion in bailout funding from the Federal Government.
According to a statement issued on Sunday, Justice J. J. Majebi of the Kogi State High Court granted an interim injunction barring the EFCC from publishing any further publications concerning the Sterling Bank account number 0073572696 or any other account ostensibly belonging to the state government.
The Kogi State Government, Momoh Jibrin, the state’s Accountant-General, and Mukadam Asiru, the commissioner for finance, budget, and economic planning, are named as claimants in the complaint, while the EFCC, Sterling Bank, and the Central Bank of Nigeria are named as defendants.
The government is demanding “the sum of N35bn as damages against the first defendant for the defamatory publication, titled, ‘Hidden N19.3bn Kogi salary bailout funds returned to CBN’ made on November 19, 2021, on its (EFCC’s) Facebook page containing among others, false and unfounded allegations of N19.3bn being returned from Kogi State bailout account, which portrays fraud and misappropriation of public fund against the claimant.”
The plaintiff further sought the court to deem the EFCC publication derogatory of the Kogi State government’s reputation.
While asking the court to declare the publication as “misconceived, wrongful, illegal, null and void,” the plaintiff also asked the court to declare the conduct of the second defendant (Sterling Bank) as wrong, illegal, null and void in opening a fixed deposit account number 0073572696 and naming it Kogi bailout account without an application, request, authority or consent of the government.”
According to the statement, the motion on notice will be heard on December 17.