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I didn’t Pay My Children’s School Fees From Kogi Coffers, Bello Replies EFCC

Former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has vehemently denied accusations levelled against him regarding the purported use of state funds to pay for his children’s school fees.

In a recent media briefing on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, Olanipekun Olukoyede, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), alleged that Bello had withdrawn funds from the Kogi State Government account for this purpose, just before the end of his tenure.

In response to these allegations, Yahaya Bello issued a statement titled “Payment for School Fees: Setting the Records Straight,” signed by Ohiare Michael on Friday.

According to the statement, Bello clarified that his children had been attending the American International School, Abuja, long before he assumed office as governor, and their fees were paid promptly and directly by him.

Furthermore, he refuted the claim that he paid a sum of USD720,000 or USD840,000, as alleged by the EFCC chairman, stating that the payments began in 2021 and were not made using state funds.

Bello also contested EFCC’s attempts to recover the fees from the American International School, Abuja, asserting that the payments were legitimate and lawfully made by him and other family members.

He highlighted a court ruling, FCT/HC/2574/2023, which upheld the legality of the fees paid and prohibited the school from refunding them to any third party, including the EFCC.

The statement emphasized that none of the funds related to the school fees had been recovered by the EFCC, despite its efforts.

Bello further addressed the documents released by the EFCC online, stating that they were filed by his lawyers as part of legal proceedings to defend the legitimacy of the fees paid. 

He maintained transparency regarding the payment of advance fees for his children.

Regarding the ongoing legal proceedings, Bello clarified that the matter was pending before the Federal High Court, Abuja, under Charge No. FHC/CR/573/2022, and emphasized that no findings or convictions had been made thus far.

Bello denounced what he termed as “unending harassment and persecution” by the EFCC, asserting that he sought to enforce his fundamental human rights in response to these actions.

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