By Rose Onda
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) has withdrawn its suit seeking the forfeiture of N20billion bail out funds granted to the Kogi State Government by Sterling Bank.
The money, which was alleged to have been domiciled in an interest yielding account with the bank, was meant for the payment of Kogi State workers.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke aneke granted the order of withdrawal on Friday sequel to a motion filed and argued by the counsel to EFCC, Mr Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, leading Mr Rotimi Oyedepo.
Pinheiro listed six grounds upon which the judge granted the prayer, adding that “the EFCC is a responsible body”.
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 back to the Central Bank of Nigeria.
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.”
Justice Tijjani Ringim had on August 31, granted an ex-parte application brought by the EFCC for an interim forfeiture of the N19, 333, 333, 333.36 billion, said to be warehoused in state’s Sterling Bank account number 0073572696.
Justice Ringim made the order of the interim forfeiture after taken arguments from the EFCC’s counsel, Abbas Muhammed.
The judge ruled that the order was pending the conclusion of an investigation or possible prosecution by the EFCC.