• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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BusinessDay

I didn’t pay my children’s school fees from Kogi’s account – Yahaya Bello

Yahaya Bello

Yahaya Bello, the former governor of Kogi, has denied the allegations that he paid his children school fees from the state’s account.

Bello denied the allegations in a statement released by his media office on Friday, stating that his children have been attending the American International School before he became governor.

Ola Olukoyede, the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had earlier accused Bello of paying his children school fees in advance from Kogi’s coffers.

Several documents circulating on social media also revealed how the former governor paid $845,000 for his children’s school fees.

However, Bello has refuted these claims, saying that he didn’t pay the fees from the state’s account.

The statement released by his media office stated that Bello’s children have been students at the American International School, Abuja, since before his governorship, with fees paid promptly.

Contrary to allegations by the EFCC chairman, the former governor said that he did not pay $720,000 or $840,000 for school fees.
The statement added that the fee payments began in 2021, not at the end of Bello’s term as Kogi governor.

According to the statement, a legal challenge prevented the EFCC from recovering funds paid to the American International School Abuja, with the FCT High Court ruling in favor of Bello’s family members.

Documents related to the fee payments, released online by the EFCC, were public records filed by Bello’s lawyers, the media office stated.

“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,” the statement reads.

The legitimacy of the fee payments is currently under judicial review in charge No. FHC/CR/573/2022 at the Federal High Court, Abuja, it added.

The statement reminded parties of the legal principle of sub judice, urging restraint from prejudicial actions.

Bello’s office emphasised his adherence to due process and the rule of law, stating that no amount of blackmail would deter him.

“Finally, our Principal, Yahaya Bello, doesn’t visit law enforcement agencies “through the backdoor”. He has insisted on following due process in line with the rule of law. No amount of blackmail will intimidate him,” it concluded.