The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, said on Tuesday that no account belonging to the state government was frozen.
This was as he maintained that he assumed office with high integrity and would leave with his integrity intact despite the “lies” by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over an alleged order freezing the state’s bank account.
On August 31, 2021, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos had ordered the freezing of the state government’s salary bailout account domiciled in a commercial bank over an alleged N20bn loan obtained from it.
Addressing State House Correspondents after meeting with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), Bello challenged the EFCC over what he called “misinterpretation of facts or taking a joke too far”, insisting that his state remained the only state that had published on its website how its bailout funds were disbursed.
He said, “No Kogi State Government’s salary account is frozen. None whatsoever! None of our accounts is frozen or embargo placed on any of our accounts by EFCC at all.
“I will urge every Nigerian to please go to Kogi state’s website; all the facts are there. The bank has denied that we have such an account. And besides that, the bailout fund that we obtained, we appropriated in line with the agreement and understanding between Kogi state government and the workers.
“All of these were done and finished in the year 2019. So first, there’s no N20 billion account, or N19 billion, no fixed deposit account. So, I don’t know where the lie is coming from.”
Bello added, “Mr. President’s fight against corruption has nothing to do with politics. So, whoever wants to probably attack my towering name and integrity because of 2023 is making a mistake.
“For 2023, I still say it is in the hands of God Almighty. Millions of Nigerians; men, women, youth are all yearning that I should contest for 2023 presidential election.”