The Northern Youths Movement (NYM) has demanded for an independent probe of the controversies over the alleged N19.33billion Kogi State salary bailout fund, which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) claimed it recovered and returned to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Rising from its meeting in Abuja on Saturday, the NYM also chided the EFCC over what it called unending regime of media trial and unconstitutional actions by the anti-graft agency.
It said it was imperative for a panel comprising representatives of the CBN, Sterling Bank, Federal Ministry of Finance, Accountant-General of the Federation, Kogi State Government, EFCC, Police Special Fraud Unit, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to be set up to investigate the matter.
Recall that the EFCC had said that it returned the N19.33billion allegedly kept by the Kogi State government in a fixed deposit account domiciled in Sterling Bank for the purpose of yielding, to the CBN.
However, the Kogi State government, which insisted that it did not open or create the said account with Sterling Bank, demanded from the EFCC, an apology and retraction of the commission’s allegations.
In a release issued in Abuja on Saturday, which was signed by the group’s chairman, Mallam Ishaya Jato, the NYM also carpeted the EFCC for placing Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State on a watchlist, saying that the commission’s action constitutes a clear affront on the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The youths said it was time the EFCC begin to act within the ambit of the laws of Nigeria and stop jumping to the media space, acting like a political tool.
The NYM wondered why no one has been put on trial if truly the EFCC’s claim on the alleged N19.33billion Kogi State bailout fund was true.
They asked if in saner climes, a whopping sum of N19.33billion bailout fund meant to pay workers’ salaries will be discovered to have been kept in a commercial bank account meant to yield interest and no one will be prosecuted.
The youths added that salient questions as to where is the mandate letter from the Kogi State Government to open account number 0073572696 with Sterling Bank and who operated the account needed to be answered.