The Kogi State Government has faulted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for reportedly confiscating 14 of its properties in Lagos State, Abuja and the United Arab Emirates, following an order from the court.
The government described the forfeiture as a “desperate concoction of confused unintelligent officials” and the EFCC as “Nigeria’s corruption headquarters headed by convicted chairman.”
In a statement on Wednesday, Kingsley Fanwo, the state Commissioner of Information and Communications to Governor Yahaya Bello, said, “Bawa had shown, like many Civil Society Organisations had pointed out, that his mandate at the EFCC was to bring down perceived enemies of those who planted him there at the expense of the nation’s integrity.
“The fact that the EFCC could send out a press statement, titled, “Court Orders Interim Forfeiture of 14 properties linked to Kogi State Government,” showed clearly that uninformed minds had been picked to oversee the affairs of an agency as important as the EFCC.”
According to him, for the avoidance of doubt, Kogi has no property that can be forfeited to the Federal Government under any guise, adding, “it is a campaign of calumny taken too far.”
Fanwo noted that it was clear that the EFCC had declared a tactless open war against the state government owing mainly to Governor Bello’s unflinching loyalty to the All Progressives Congress and not individuals, stressing that the Governor was not one that could be cowed once he believes in a cause.
“Nigerians, and indeed, the international community are not as ignorant as the convicted Bawa and his sponsors.
“They know, with the different onslaughts against the Kogi government, and its officials, that this is clear persecution by a desperate and power-drunk EFCC.
“In due course, Nigerians will confirm that the EFCC, under Bawa, is the capital of corruption amongst agencies in Nigeria,” the statement read.
It added, “Unlike the convicted Bawa, who has no regard for the courts.
“We want to state clearly here that, from what we have read in the media, not one we witnessed, this is a forfeiture proceeding and the order is an order of interim forfeiture, which gives persons who allegedly own the properties rights to come to court to establish their ownership of the said properties. We will follow through with the courts.
“For now, it is clear the EFCC has declared a tactless open war against the Kogi State Government, owing mainly to the Governor’s unflinching loyalty to the All Progressives Congress and not individuals. We will prove our innocence in court. It is a matter of time.”
The state government further thanked Nigerians for standing by what is right and pointing out the mess that had become of the fight against corruption under an “emergency chairman”.
“On this note, we advise the public to ignore Bawa’s EFCC’s latest naked dance in the market square as the desperate last kicks of a dying horse,” the statement added.