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EFCC Confirms Refund of $760,000 School Fees Paid by Former Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello

American School Refunds $760,000 School Fees To EFCC

In a recent development, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has officially confirmed the reimbursement of $760,000, previously paid as advanced school fees by the former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, for his children at the American International School in Abuja. This confirmation was made by the EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, during an interview in Abuja.

According to The Punch, Oyewale revealed that the American International School promptly refunded the entire sum of $760,000 to the EFCC’s recovery account. This follows earlier requests from the school for “authentic banking details” from the EFCC to facilitate the refund process.

The controversy surrounding the payment of school fees emerged when it was revealed that Bello had allegedly utilized state funds amounting to $720,000 to pay for the education of five of his children at the American International School. These children were enrolled in Grade Levels 2 to 8 at the institution.

The EFCC’s attempt to arrest Bello over an alleged N80.2 billion fraud on April 17 led to a standoff at his residence in Abuja. It was reported that Governor Usman Ododo of Kogi arrived at the scene and escorted Bello away from the premises.

In a letter addressed to the Lagos Zonal Commander of the EFCC, the American International School disclosed that a total of $845,852 had been paid in tuition fees from September 7, 2021, to the present date. However, the school deducted the cost of educational services already rendered, resulting in a refund amount of $760,910.

Furthermore, the school emphasized that no additional fees were expected for tuition, as the students’ fees had been settled until their graduation from the institution.

In response to the refund request, the school pledged to notify the anti-graft agency of any further deposits made by the Bello family. Greg Hughes, representing the American International School, clarified that Ali Bello, a member of the Bello family, had contacted the school on August 13, 2021, to make advance payments for the family’s school fees until the students completed high school.

The Chairman of the EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, previously disclosed that Bello had transferred $720,000 from the state’s coffers to a bureau de change to pay for his child’s school fees in advance. Olukoyede denounced the act, emphasizing the misuse of public funds for personal expenses, especially in a financially struggling state like Kogi.

The revelation sparked public outcry and raised questions about the accountability of public officials. The EFCC’s intervention in recovering the funds underscores its commitment to combating financial misconduct and holding public officials accountable for their actions.

As the investigation progresses, the EFCC remains vigilant in its efforts to promote transparency and integrity in governance, ensuring that public funds are utilized for the benefit of all citizens.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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