Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state, has described the case instituted against his government by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as “a joke taken too far”.
Bello stated this on Tuesday, while answering questions from state house correspondents on the recent court judgement about a loan account allegedly operated by the Kogi government.
A federal high court sitting in Lagos, had last week, frozen a salary account said to belong to Kogi state, and domiciled with Sterling Bank Plc, over a N20 billion loan obtained from the bank.
Reacting, Bello said: “Thank you very much. Very straight forward answer to your question. 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’s just a misrepresentation of facts or a joke taken too far. My information commissioner and all those that are concerned with the lies peddled by the EFCC, I think they have responded appropriately. And I will urge every Nigerian to please go to Kogi state website. All the facts are there.
“The bank has denied that we have such an account. And besides that, the bailout fund that we obtained, we appropriated in line with the agreement and understanding between Kogi state government and the workers.
“All of these were done and finished in the year 2019. So first, there’s no N20 billion account, or N19 billion; no fixed deposit account. So, I don’t know where the lie is coming from.
“As a person, I came into this office with my integrity high. And I will leave this office of government with a higher integrity. All of my names that are ringing bells everywhere across the world today, you will know that actually I earned these 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.
“Well, like I said, Mr. President’s fight against corruption has nothing to do with politics. So, whoever wants to probably attack my towering name and integrity because of 2023 is making a mistake. Fighting corruption should ordinarily have nothing to do with political affiliation or political interest.
“So, I wouldn’t want to say that because of 2023 I am being targeted. If you’re targeting me because of 2023, it is a big mistake. You will not be able to get me.”
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