“Kogi is the only state that has published on its website how the bailout funds was utilized”
Kogi Gov. Yahaya Bello may be on a collision course with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as he dismissed the purported order freezing the state’s account at a new generation bank as “lies”.
“No Kogi state government’s salary account is frozen. None whatsoever. None of our accounts is frozen or embargo placed on any of our accounts by EFCC at all.
“I think it is just a misrepresentation of facts or is a joke taken too far,” Bello said.
According to the governor, he got into government with high integrity and will leave with his integrity intact despite the “lies” by the EFCC over a purported order freezing its account with a new generation bank.
Persecondnews recalls that a Federal High Court in Lagos had ordered the freezing of the state government’s salary bailout account domiciled in a commercial bank over an alleged N20 billion loan obtained from it.
Bello told State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, that Kogi “is the only state that has published on its website how the bailout funds was utilized.”
“My Information Commissioner and all those that are concerned with that lies peddled by the EFCC, I think they have responded appropriately.
“I will urge each and every Nigerian to please go to Kogi state website, all the facts are there. The bank has denied that we have such an account.
“Besides that, the bailout fund that we obtained, we appropriated in line with the agreement and understanding between Kogi state government and the workers.
“And all of these were done and finished in the year 2019. So first, there is no N20 billion account, or N19 billion, no fixed deposit account. So I don’t know where the lie is coming from.
“I think in the days ahead, you will hear exactly how the matter shall be resolved. That’s why I said that is a joke taken too far. And I want to believe that either the officials of the EFCC may have misled the commission.
“Remember that we will not just allow this to lie low because Mr. President prides on fighting corruption and EFCC is one of the agencies that is being used to fight corruption.
“EFCC should not be seen to be going on a voyage of no discovery in order for the reputation of the commission and integrity of this particular government to remain intact.
“As a person, I came into this office with my integrity high. And I will leave this office of Government with a higher integrity and all of my name that are ringing bell everywhere across the world today,” Bello also said.
“You will know that actually I earned this beautiful names, not because of stealing. I will never touch one kobo of Kogi state and I will never allow any of my officials to do so.
“That is transparency. I think I challenge Nigerians to challenge all of those governors to publish that same particular bailout fund utilization and then you will be able to judge me whichever way,” the governor added.
On why he visited Aso Rock, he said: “I came to see our father, Mr. President to appreciate him on behalf of the good people of Kogi state that today, Kogi is the first Nigerian northern state to be referred to as oil producing state.
“We came to appreciate Mr. President, for that magnanimity, and also to congratulate the people of Kogi state, and Nigerians, generally.
“We equally brought a request to the effect that the Ajaokuta steel company is still moribund and reminded him of his efforts in ensuring that he revives Ajaokuta steel complex.
“We submitted a petition to the effect that he should in the life of his administration, be able to complete that Ajaokuta complex.
“And Mr. President received all of these and more with pleasure and he promised that something is going to be done to ensure that Ajaokuta is revived and running before the end of this administration.
“The fact that we are oil producing today, I want to assure all the citizens of Kogi state and Nigerians that the mistake that we made in the past where Nigeria depended on oil alone, as a source of revenue today, will not be repeated.
“Whatever is going to be accruing to Kogi state will be used to support all other sectors, the agric sector, manufacturing, and several other sectors of our economy ”