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N20bn bailout: EFCC withdraws suit against Kogi

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THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has withdrawn its suit seeking the forfeiture of N20 billion bailout funds granted to the Kogi State Government by a new generation bank.

The anti-graft agency had alleged that the money, meant for the payment of Kogi workers, was kept in an interest-yielding account with the bank by officials of the state government.

Recall that the EFCC had made an ex-parte application before the court, which according to the agency, was in line with section 44(2) of the Constitution and section 34(1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act and under the court’s jurisdiction.

Following the ex-parte application, the state government threatened to take legal action against the EFCC, accusing the anti-graft agency of a deliberate attempt to malign the integrity of the state governor, Yahaya Bello.

In the latest development today, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke granted the order of withdrawal sequel to a motion filed and argued by the EFCC counsel, Kemi Pinheiro, SAN.

Pinheiro listed six grounds upon which the judge granted the prayer, adding that “the EFCC is a responsible body”.

According to him, one of the grounds was that questions resulting in the commencement of the suit had been clarified, and an intention had been shown to return the sum of N19,333,333,333.36 to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Delivering his judgement, Justice Aneke held: “I have listened to the submission of the learned Silk for the application, Mr Kemi Pinheiro SAN vis-a-vis perused the motion to withdraw. My humble opinion is that application is meritorious and ought to be granted. Accordingly, the application is granted as prayed.”

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