Kogi threatens to sue EFCC over alleged illegality
The Kogi State Government has threatened to sue the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the alleged harassment of State officials.
The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, who issued the threat in a statement on Thursday in Lokoja, noted that the move was necessitated by the anti-graft agency’s alleged undermining of the orders of a High Court in a case between the commission and the state.
The government accused EFCC of illegal harassment of State officials “over a bail-out fund the Commission tried fruitlessly” to prove was stashed in an account, despite a Court injunction restraining it.
“A High Court had in Suit No. HCL/128/2021, filed by the Kogi State Government against the EFCC and other Defendants with respect to the said bail-out funds, issued an injunction on December 3, restraining the EFCC or its agents from inviting or arresting any government official or requesting for any document relating to the matter pending the determination of the Motion on Notice.”
“But in spite of that, EFCC attempted to arrest the Cashier of the Kogi State Government House even without its appeal against the court order was yet to be heard and determined.”
Fanwo said “This attempt by the Commission is a clear and flagrant violation of a subsisting order by a competent Court of jurisdiction, which will be challenged in the law court.”
“We believe that EFCC, as an anti-graft agency, ought not to disobey court Orders whatsoever.”
He added that “More ridiculous is the claim by the EFCC operatives that came to arrest the officials that they were unaware of the injunction”.
The commissioner wondered why EFCC could claim ignorance of an Order of Court, which they have already appealed against.
He stated “To us (government), this is an attempt by an agency created by law to drag the rule of law in the mud and operate above the law.”
While stating that the EFCC had clearly moved from fighting the Kogi government to disrespecting the Judiciary, “which is the last hope of the common man”, Fanwo said Kogi was one of the State governments that supported the anti-corruption agenda of the APC-led administration by strengthening her institutions to remain transparent and accountable.
He added “This posture has garnered for us many laurels as we now receive yearly awards from credible agencies, including the World Bank on Fiscal Transparency and Accountability”.