By Innocent Anaba
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to discountenance the application by a former governor of Edo State, Mr Lucky Igbinedion, who had prayed the court to set aside an order of interim forfeiture of his (Igbinedion) assets.
According to the commission, Igbinedion misappropriated a total sum of N19 billion while he was the chief executive officer of the state.
Igbinedion had filed an application before the court, urging it to set aside the order on the ground that EFCC misrepresented the facts of the case to secure the order.
But EFCC in a counter-affidavit, averred that it was untrue that it had entered into a plea bargaining agreement with Igbinedion as regards all funds illegally withdrawn from the state account.
The commission further alleged that Igbinedion collaborated with his former Senior Special Assistant, Patrick Eboigbodin, his former messenger and Special Assistant, Amadi Eriyo as well as his younger brother, Michael Igbinedion to misappropriate Edo’s funds between 1999 and 2007, when he was governor.
According to the commission, investigation revealed that the said Eboigbodin collected N250 million from the Local Government Joint Account of the state on the pretence that same would be used to provide security during the 2007 Local Government Area elections, but that the money was diverted as the elections did not hold.
Igbinedion and Eboigbodin were also accused to have converted another N287 million for personal use from the Local Government Joint Account on the pretence that the money was meant for the payment of Youth Empowerment Programme.
Meanwhile further hearing in the matter has been adjourned till March 18.