The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has confirmed the return of N19.33 billion from Kogi State wage bailout funds, recovered by the Commission, to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwujaren said this in a statement in Abuja on Friday. The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the money was intended to pay employees in Kogi State, but would be domiciled in a paid account at Sterling Bank plc.
The Kogi State government, through the Commissioner of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Asiwaju Idris Asiru, has denied knowledge of the fixed deposit account with the aforementioned bank.
NAN also reports that the EFCC has withdrawn its lawsuit demanding the confiscation of the 20 billion naira bailout funds given to the Kogi state government by Sterling Bank.
Uwujaren said the return of the money to the CBN would silence the disinformation campaign and the inconceivable denials of the Kogi state government, that no funds were recovered from his rescue account.
He added that the CBN in a referenced letter, DFD / DIR / CON / EXT / 01/099 and dated November 9, 2021, confirmed to the President of the EFCC, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, that he received the money. The letter reads in part: “We are referring to your letter dated November 15, 2021 with Reference No .: CR: 3000 / EFCC / LS / CMU / RECSTE / VOL.4 / 047 on the above item and would like to confirm the details of receipt of the amount as follows:
Bank: Sterling Bank Plc;
Amount: N19, 333, 333,333.36;
Date received: November 04, 2021.
“The return of money to the apex bank is in accordance with the order of October 15, 2021 of a federal high court based in Ikoyi, Lagos. The court ordered the account to be thawed Kogi State salary bailout to allow Sterling Bank to remit account balance to CBN.
“Judge Chukwujekwu Aneke issued the order on the basis of a request submitted by the EFCC,” he said.