Kogi State in the administration of Yahaya Bello is notorious for owing civil and public servants several months of unpaid of salaries.
Between 2015 and 2017 the administration of Yahaya Bello was owing Kogi State civil and public servants between 21 to 22 unpaid salaries.
A man could not afford drugs and other hospital bills for his sick child and that led to the death of his primary six daughter because Yahaya Bello was owing him 10 moths salaries.
Few days later a Director at Kogi State Teaching Commission whom Yahaya Bello owed 11 months unpaid salaries committed suicide ten days after his wife put to bed because he had no money to take care of the wife who just delivered triplets.
But not withstanding the masses outcry and massive deaths of unpaid pensioners “Insensitive” Yahaya Bello now campaigning to be the President of Nigeria in the 2023 general elections declared “No work, no pay” when the State workforce got to their flash point and went on strike.
Yet 19.3 billion Naira was approved by the Federal Government for Yahaya Bello administration to pay salaries in his State but he hid the money.
As the Federal Government discovered that the money released to Kogi State Government was not channeled to the purpose for which it was meant for, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFCC was directed to trace the whereabout of N19.3 billion approved for Kogi State as Salaries Bailout Fund.
While the search of the monies was on, Yahaya Bello had lied to the people of Kogi State and Nigeria that he has no such monies in his coffers.
The discovery of the funds by EFCC and its forfeiture by the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN has now put the matter to rest and unveiled the unfitness of Yahaya Bello in the management of public funds and the people commonwealth.
Read below the EFCC Press Release after taking possession of N19.3 billion hidden by Kogi State Government in Sterling Bank:
EFCC Press Release
Hidden N19.3bn Kogi Salary Bail-Out Funds Returned to CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has acknowledged the receipt of the sum of N19, 333,333,333.36 (Nineteen Billion, Three Hundred and Thirty-three Million, Three Hundred and Thirty-three Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirty-three Naira, Thirty-six Kobo) recovered the EFCC from the Kogi State Salary Bail-out account domiciled in Sterling Bank Plc.
This effectively puts to rest the campaign of misinformation and unconscionable denials by the Kogi State Government that no fund was recovered from its bail out account.
The apex bank in a letter referenced, DFD/DIR/CON/EXT/01/099 and dated 9th November, 2021 informed the Executive Chairman, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa that it has received the money.
The letter reads in part: “We refer to your letter dated November 5, 2021 with Ref. No: CR:3000/EFCC/LS/CMU/REC-STE/VOL.4/047 on the above subject and wish to confirm the details of the receipt of the amount as stated below: Bank: Sterling Bank Plc; Amount: N19, 333, 333,333.36; Date of receipt: 04 November, 2021”.
The return of the money to the apex bank is in compliance with the October 15, 2021 Order of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi Lagos directing the unfreezing of the Kogi State Salary Bail-out account to enable Sterling Bank to remit the balance in the account to the Central Ban of Nigeria. Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke gave the Order pursuant to an application filed by the EFCC.
The Commission had told the court that the management of Sterling Bank Plc, where the account was domiciled had acknowledged the existence of the said account with the staggering sum of N19, 333,333,333.36 in its books.
The Commission further brought to the attention of the court that “The sum of N19, 333,333,333.36 is still standing in the credit of the account frozen”, adding that “the management of Sterling Bank PIc, has, pursuant to a letter dated 15 September, 2021, signed by its Managing Director, indicated intention to return the total sum of N19, 333,333,333.36 back to the Central Bank of Nigeria.”
The EFCC prayed The court that it “is expedient for the instant suit to be discontinued and the account unfrozen to enable the management of Sterling Bank PIc effect the transfer/ return of the sum of the sum of N19, 333, 333, 333.36 back to the coffer of the Central Bank of Nigeria , where the said bailout funds was disbursed.”
The transfer has put paid to any further controversy regarding source and ownership of the funds and most importantly, aborted the funds dissipation.
On August 31, 2021, Justice Tijani Garba Ringim, a vacation Judge, had ordered the freezing of the account, following an ex-parte application filed by the EFCC.
The EFCC, in a 13-paragraph affidavit in support of the ex-parte application, had stated that it received a credible and direct intelligence, which led to the tracing of the funds reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities in account No. 0073572696 domiciled in Sterling Bank, Plc with the name Kogi State Salary Bailout Account.
After listening to the EFCC application, Justice Ringim on August 31, 2021, ordered the freezing of the account and directed the publication of the order in a national newspaper by the EFCC.
Head, Media & Publicity
19 November, 2021