N2 billion loan: Kogi Governor comes under attack

N2 billion loan: Kogi Governor comes under attack

Thursday, May 21, 2020 1:28 pm

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, APC candidate

Richard Elesho/ Lokoja

Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has come under strong attack from diverse sources over plans to obtain N2 billion loan facility from Access Bank. Members of the State House of Assembly approved the loan request on Tuesday at plenary.

The opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP in a reaction condemned the scheme and warned Bello to back off. The party’s Director of Research and Documentation, Achadu Dickson noted that it was curious how the lawmakers gave approval to the loan request “even when the purpose for the loan is not stated.”

The party said in the face of Bello’s refusal to pay full salaries to the “few cleared workers remaining on the payroll, we suspect the loan been sought is intended to bribe judges at the Election Tribunal where he is being serially challenged.

In a related development, a civil right group, Nigerian Integrity Movement, has raised the alarm over the loan and accused Bello of plans to induce the Election Tribunal judges seating in Abuja to subvert the wheel of justice in their judgement in respect of the 2019 governorship election.             

According to Sahara Reporters, the group in a statement by Mr Kayode Esan, National Coordinator, NIM said, “The approval of N2bn loan by the Kogi State House of Assembly for Governor Yahaya Bello for no specific purpose at a time when he is awaiting the validation of his mandate by the Election Petition Tribunal is a huge attempt to coerce the judges into accepting bribe to miscarry justice.

The group warned that any attempt by the Governor to collect loan or use the state’s monthly allocation to bribe judges as already set in motion, will be a great disservice not only to the people of Kogi State but Nigeria at large. 

“Any financial institution in Nigeria or abroad in this impending devious business of giving loan to bribe the Election Petition Tribunal judges who have proven to be men of integrity so far, will regret such action sooner than later. 

Civil Servants in the State are also grumbling over the said loan even as the administration plans to pay them half salary for May. The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Trade Union Congress, TUC and their affiliate unions have risen against the move to slash salaries.

Efforts to reach Kingsley Fanwo, Commissioner for Information and Strategy on the matter were not successful.

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