Yahaya Bello Clarifies School Fees Allegations Amidst EFCC Controversy

Former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, has stepped forward to address what he perceives as misleading allegations surrounding the payment of his children’s school fees, amidst a storm of controversy ignited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The imbroglio traces back to a media briefing held by Mr. Olanipekun Olukoyede, the chairman of the EFCC, on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, where allegations surfaced that Bello withdrew funds from the Kogi State Government account to cover his children’s educational expenses just before leaving office.

In response to the accusations, Bello’s media office released a statement signed by Ohiare Michael, aimed at setting the record straight. Titled “Payment for school fees: Setting the records straight,” the statement outlined several crucial details to counter the allegations.

Firstly, it emphasized that Bello’s children had been attending the American International School, Abuja, long before his tenure as governor. The statement asserted that fees had been paid punctually and directly by Bello as and when due.

Additionally, the statement refuted specific claims made by the EFCC chairman, clarifying that the alleged sum of USD720,000 or USD840,000 was not paid by Bello for his children’s education. It stated that the payment process commenced in 2021, refuting assertions that it was timed around Bello’s exit from office.

Crucially, the statement emphasized that Bello did not utilize Kogi State Government funds to cover his children’s school fees. It detailed legal actions taken against the EFCC’s attempts to recover legitimately paid fees and highlighted a court ruling affirming the validity of the payments made.

The statement further addressed the release of documents by the EFCC online, asserting that these were filed by Bello’s lawyers in a lawsuit challenging the EFCC’s actions. It reiterated that Bello had nothing to hide regarding the payments made for his children’s education.

Lastly, the statement underscored that the matter is subject to ongoing legal proceedings, with Charge No. FHC/CR/573/2022 filed by the EFCC pending at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

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