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Abuja School Demands Refund of $760k in Fees Paid by Ex-Kogi Governor

In a surprising turn of events, the American International School of Abuja (AISA) has taken a bold step by requesting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to refund a staggering $760,910 in tuition fees paid by the family of Yahaya Bello, the former governor of Kogi state.

The school’s letter, addressed to the Lagos Zonal Commander of the EFCC, reveals that a total of $845,852.84 has been paid in tuition and other fees since September 7, 2021. However, AISA has calculated the net amount to be refunded as $760,910, after deducting the cost of educational services already provided to Bello’s five children, who are currently enrolled in Grade Levels 2 to 8.

Alleged Misappropriation of Funds

The request for the refund comes amidst allegations of financial impropriety against the former governor. EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyole, has previously disclosed that Bello transferred $720,000 from the government’s coffers to a bureau de change before leaving office, using the funds to pay in advance for his child’s school fees.

Olukoyole questioned the legality of such an action, stating, “In a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that under the guise of ‘I’m being used.’ Being used by who at this stage of my life?”

EFCC’s Attempt to Arrest Bello

The refund request comes on the heels of a failed attempt by EFCC operatives to arrest Bello at his residence in Abuja on April 17. The operatives were seeking to apprehend the former governor over an alleged N80.2 billion fraud. However, during the siege, Usman Ododo, the current governor of Kogi, arrived at the property and reportedly whisked Bello away, thwarting the EFCC’s efforts.

Transparency and Accountability

In its letter to the EFCC, AISA has emphasized the need for transparency in the refund process. The school has requested an official written request from the EFCC, along with the commission’s authentic banking details, to facilitate the transfer of the refunded funds.

The school has also stated that it will draw the attention of the anti-graft agency if there are any further deposits by the Bello family. Additionally, AISA mentioned that Ali Bello, a member of the Bello family, had contacted the school on August 13, 2021, requesting to pay the family’s school fees in advance until the students graduate from high school.

As the investigation into the alleged money laundering activities continues, the refund of the $760,910 by the EFCC to AISA is expected to shed light on the use of public funds for private purposes and promote transparency in the education sector.

Izu Mgbaemena

I'm Izu Mgbaemena, a Nigerian-based writer for Naijadazz. I love sharing stories about Nigerian culture, food, music and more. As a frequent contributor to Naijadazz, I relish the opportunity to showcase the endlessly fascinating aspects of Nigerian culture to a global audience.