EFCC: No amount of blackmail will intimidate me –Yahaya Bello

The embattled former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, has denied paying the school fees of his children with monies from the coffers of the Kogi State government.

A press release signed by his Media Officer, Michael Ohiare, the former governor accused the Chairman of the Economic Crime and Financial Commission (EFFC), Olanipekun Olukoyede of trying to convict him by all means in the court of public opinion rather than in the law court, as personal vendetta, with the connivance of like minds, and not a fight against corruption.

According to the statement: “On Tuesday, 23rd April 2024, Mr. Olanipekun Olukoyede in a conduct, which we view as unbecoming of a legal practitioner, organised a press conference, where he alleged (amongst other out rightly defamatory statements) that His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, withdrew cash from the Kogi State Government Account, sent same to Bureau De Change operators and then used same to pay the school fees of his children in advance.

“Since the said press conference, receipts of payments of the said fees bearing the names of His Excellency’s Children and those of other family members, who separately paid their fees, have been flying all over the internet.

“While we reserve our rights to seek redress against the said defamatory statements, permit us to briefly state the following for the purpose of setting the records straight: His Excellency, Yahaya Bello’s children have attended the American International School, Abuja well before he became governor, and he has paid fees for his children as and when due and without fail.

“His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello did not pay the sum of USD720, 000 as alleged by the EFCC chairman or USD840, 000 as is being bandied about on the internet.

“The payment of the fees was not effected at about the time his Excellency was to leave office as claimed by Mr. Olukoyede, but the same commenced in 2021.

“When the EFCC approached the American International School Abuja (AISA) to illegally recover funds legitimately paid by Alhaji Yahaya Bello and other family members, a member of the family challenged the EFCC’s unlawful acts to recover funds legitimately paid. The FCT High Court, in Suit No. FCT/HC/2574/2023 between: Mr. Ali Bello v. The Incorporated Trustees of American International School, Abuja, held that AISA could not lawfully and unilaterally refund to a third party, including the EFCC, fees paid by the parties to the suit.

“The Court subsequently mandated AISA to continue to provide the services it had been paid with respect to the fees.

“From the foregoing, it is clear that no money belonging to Alhaji Yahaya Bello or his family members with regard to school fees has been recovered by the EFCC.”




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