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Kogi threatens to sue EFCC over harassment of officials

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The Kogi Government has threatened to sue the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) over alleged harassment of state officials.

Mr Kingsley Fanwo, the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, issued the threat in a statement on Thursday in Lokoja.

Fanwo said that the action became imperative in view of the anti-graft agency’s alleged undermining and flaunting the orders of a High Court in a case between it and the state.

The state government accused EFCC for 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 Dec. 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.

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“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 be heard and determined.

“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.

“More ridiculous is the claim by the EFCC operatives that came to effect the arrest of the officials that they were unaware of the injunction,” he said.

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The commissioner wondered why EFCC could claimed ignorance of an Order of Court, which they have already appealed against.

He said: “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.”

According to him, the commission had clearly moved from fighting the Kogi government to disrespecting the Judiciary, “which is the last hope of the common man”.

He said Kogi was one of the state governments that are supporting the anti-corruption agenda of the APC-led administration by strengthening her institutions to remain transparent and accountable.

“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,” Fanwo stated.

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