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Court freezes Kogi govt’s N20bn bailout loan account with Sterling Bank

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A Federal Excessive Courtroom in Lagos on Tuesday gave directives for the freezing of the wage account of Kogi State Authorities in reference to the N20 billion mortgage allegedly obtained from Sterling Financial institution Plc.

Justice Tijjani Ringim, who delivered the judgement stated the order will stay in pressure pending the conclusion of the investigation or attainable prosecution by the Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee (EFCC).

This adopted an ex-parte utility by the EFCC earlier than the choose which, in keeping with the company, was introduced pursuant to part 44(2) of the structure and part 34(1) of the Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee Act and beneath the court docket’s jurisdiction.

“The fee (EFCC) obtained a reputable and direct intelligence report that led to the tracing of funds moderately suspected to be proceeds of illegal actions warehoused in account No. 0073572696, domiciled in Sterling Financial institution Plc with the identify Kogi State Wage Bailout Account.

“The fee acted on the stated intelligence and assigned similar to the Chairman Monitoring Unit, the place it was found that on April 1, 2019, the administration of Sterling Financial institution Plc accredited a proposal of N20 billion bailout mortgage facility for Kogi State authorities.

“In response to the deponent, on June 19, 2019, the Kogi State authorities utilized for a credit score facility of N20 billion with an rate of interest of 9 per cent for a tenure of 240 months from Sterling Financial institution Plc,” The EFCC utility to the court docket disclosed.

The counsel to the EFCC, A.O. Mohammed, informed the court docket that the directive was given so as to cease additional squandering of the funds within the account which was initially meant to reinforce the wage cost and operating price of the State.

In response to the EFCC counsel, the N20 billion mortgage, as an alternative of getting used for the aim which it was granted, the Kogi State Authorities relatively transferred the cash from the mortgage account and lodged it into a set interest-yielding account with Sterling financial institution.

The presiding Choose additional directed the EFCC to publish the order in a nationwide newspaper and make a quarterly report on the progress of its investigation to the court docket.

The matter has been adjourned until December for submission of the investigation report.

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