An activist and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Youth Leader, Austin Usman Okai, has lambasted the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, over the freezing of a bank account belonging to the state government.
Tijani Ringim, a Lagos High Court judge, had on August 31, 2021, frozen the Kogi State account domiciled in Sterling Bank Plc, following an ex parte application brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), pending the conclusion of the investigation or possible prosecution.
The commission, in a 13-paragraph affidavit in support of the motion, said it received credible and direct intelligence which led to the tracing of funds suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities deposited in account No. 0073572696 domiciled in Sterling Bank Plc, with the name ‘Kogi State Salary Bailout Account.’
The anti-graft commission stated that a loan of N20billion meant to augment the salary payment and running cost of the state government was kept in an interest-yielding account with Sterling Bank.
It added that instead of using the money for the purpose it was meant for, Sterling Bank Plc, acting on the instruction of the Kogi State Government transferred the money from the loan account and placed same in a fixed deposit account.
Reacting in a statement on Friday, Okai wondered why money meant for workers was diverted due to greed and wickedness.
Describing the governor as “adminstrative fraudster”, he said the imprints of his actions are on the poor workers in the state who “are victims of percentage salaries in recent years.”
He added, “Yahaya Bello’s dirty and shady deal orchestrated and or coordinated to defraud and milk Kogi state is what led to this harsh decision From the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, it’s unfortunate that this is happening at a time when civil servants and pensioners are committing suicide due to hunger and starvation.”
Okai asked Bello to tender a public apology to the entire state, stating that the court’s decision to grant EFCC request to return the money back to the Central Bank of Nigerian is a big blow on the state and her economy.