Yahaya Bello denies using state funds to pay children school fees

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Yahaya Bello denies using state funds to pay children school fees

Former Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello has refuted allegations of using state funds to pay for his children’s education.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chairman, Olanipekun Olukoyede, had claimed Bello withdrew $720,000 from government coffers for this purpose while he was still a governor.

Bello reportedly signed a contract with the American International School Abuja (AISA) to prepay $845,000 for his eldest son, Ali Bello, until his graduation in 2034.

Olukoyede alleged that Bello moved the money from the state coffers to a Bureau de Change operator, and used the money for his child’s school fee in advance.

“A sitting governor, because he knew he was leaving office, moved money directly from the government to Bureau de Change (and) used it to pay his child’s school fee in advance,” Olukoyede said

Bello’s spokesperson, Ohiare Michael, however, contested the EFCC’s claims.

Michael stated that Bello’s children have always attended the American International School Abuja (AISA) and that school fees were paid “as and when due” from personal funds.

“Bello’s children have attended the American International School, Abuja well before he became Governor and he has paid fees for his children as and when due and without fail,” Micheal said.

He also added that Bello did not pay the sum of USD720,000 as alleged by the EFCC Chairman or USD840,000 as is being bandied about on the internet.

“The payment of the fees was not effected at about the time his Excellency was to leave office as claimed by Mr. Olukoyede but same commenced in 2021.

“Alhaji Yahaya Bello did not pay the fees of his children with monies from the coffers of the Kogi State Government.”

“When the EFCC approached the American International School Abuja (AISA) to illegally recover funds legitimately paid by Alhaji Yahaya Bello and other family members, a member of the family challenged the EFCC’s unlawful acts to recover funds legitimately paid. The FCT High Court, in Suit No.”

“Now, let it be known that, contrary to misleading narratives by the EFCC, all the documents published online i.e. receipts and letters, that the EFCC has released online, in furtherance of its unrelenting persecution of the former Governor, are documents filed by lawyers in the suit instituted on behalf of Alhaji Yahaya Bello and others who paid fees for their wards under the Advance Fee Payment Agreement with AISA.

“Those documents, having been filed by his lawyers, are thus public documents, which shows that his Excellency, Yahaya Bello, has nothing to hide with regard to the payment of advance fees for his children. This unending harassment and persecution, even while in office, were among key reasons he sought to enforce his fundamental human rights.”

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