The government of Kogi State has threatened to commence legal action against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Kingsley Fanwo, Commissioner for Information in the state issued the threat on Thursday during a briefing at the State Liason Office in Abuja.
The threat comes two days after a judgement by the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, issued an order to freeze the State Salary Bailout Account with Sterling Bank over a N20 billion loan obtained from the bank.
According to the presiding judge, Justice Tijjani Ringim, the order would subsist pending the conclusion of an investigation or possible prosecution by the EFCC.
The EFCC argued that the money was meant to augment salary and running cost of the state.
It accused the kogi government of however, not using the money for what it was meant for, but saved in the bank to yield interest.
Furthermore, the anti-graft agency claimed that as of April 1, 2021, the balance standing to the credit of the said fixed deposit account was N19,333,333,333.36.
It added that it was still in the process of tracing what the sum of N666,666,666.64 – a shortfall of the said sum – was used for.
But, while reacting on Thursday, Fanwo accused the EFCC of deliberately attempting to malign the integrity of Governor Yahaya Bello of the state, over the 20 billion naira salary bailout funds.
He refuted the claim by the EFCC that the governor did not disburse the said bailout funds released by the Federal Government in 2019 for payment of salary arrears owed civil servants in the state.
The information commissioner described the claim as false and malicious, adding that the governor disbursed the funds since October 2019.