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Yahaya Bello’s Media Office Clarifies Issues Regarding ‘American School Refunding $760k’ Claim

Kogi EFCC

The media office of Yahaya Bello, former governor of Kogi state, has clarified issues concerning the American International School Abuja (AISA) and their intention to refund $760,000 of school fees paid in advance, describing the report as “mischievous narrative”.

Gatekeepers News reports that on April 26, documents in which AISA asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to provide “authentic banking details” for the refund of fees paid for the children of Bello, made media rounds.

In a letter addressed to the Lagos zonal commander of the EFCC, the school said the sum of $845,852 has been paid in tuition “since the 7th of September 2021 to date”.AISA said the sum to be refunded is $760,910, because it had deducted educational services already rendered.

On April 23 2024, Ola Olukoyede, the EFCC chairman, had said in a televised press briefing that  Bello paid $720,000 in advance as fees for five of his children from the coffers of the Kogi state government.

However, in a statement signed by Ohiare Michael, the ex-governor’s media office said “Yahaya Bello’s children have attended the American International School, Abuja, since before he became Governor, and he has paid their fees as due without fail”.
The statement added that Bello did not use Kogi state funds to pay the fees.

“He did not pay USD720,000 or USD840,000 as alleged. The payment commenced in 2021, not when he was leaving office,” the statement reads.
“He did not use Kogi State Government funds to pay the fees.
“The EFCC’s attempt to recover funds from the school was unsuccessful, and the court mandated the school to continue providing services.
“The documents published online are public documents filed in court and show that Yahaya Bello has nothing to hide.

“The payment is the subject of an ongoing court case, and we await the EFCC’s proof in court.”
Michael added that Bello will not be intimidated by blackmail.
“We will not engage in prejudicial statements while the matter is sub judice,” the statement reads.
“We thank Nigerians who recognize the EFCC’s desperation as personal vendetta.
“We implore others not to be misled by mischievous narratives but to follow the case until justice is served.
“Yahaya Bello will not be intimidated by blackmail and will continue to follow due process.”

On April 17, EFCC operatives laid siege to Bello’s residence in Abuja in an attempt to arrest him over an alleged N80.2 billion fraud.
While the operatives were at the house, Usman Ododo, governor of Kogi, arrived at the property and reportedly whisked Bello away.
The EFCC has since declared Bello wanted, with the NIS placing the ex-governor on a watchlist.

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