The Kogi State Government has reacted to the news that some of its multibillion naira properties are to be forfeited, describing the development as a ridicule which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has made of the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
According to the Kogi govt, the development stems from the EFCC’s “disgraceful fixation on the State in the pursuit of desperate political interests of its Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, and his godfathers”.
The Commissioner for Information and Communications in the state, Kingsley Fanwo, in a statement on Wednesday said that Bawa had shown, like many honourable 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.
He said the “EFCC’s forfeiture joke is clearly a desperate concoction of confused, unintelligent officials.”
According to him, for the avoidance of doubt, the Kogi State Government has no property that can be forfeited to the Federal Government under any guise, 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 Kogi State Government, owing mainly to the Governor’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 State 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 state government said.
The Commissioner stated, “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 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 read.