Abuja School Refunds Over $760k In Bello Children’s Fees to EFCC

Adoga Stephen By Adoga Stephen - Editor-In-Chief
3 Min Read

The American International School of Abuja has refunded $760,910.84 that was reportedly deposited by the former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Bello allegedly deposited $845,852 with the school for the education of five of his children. The EFCC is accusing Bello of defrauding Kogi State of N80.2 billion.

The EFCC chairman, Ola Olukoyede, claimed that Bello stole the money from the Kogi government account to pay the school fees. Bello denied the accusation and accused the EFCC of blackmail and defamation.

However, the EFCC chairman insisted that Bello pay $845,852 to the school in August 2021 for the education of four children, with another child to be enrolled in August 2022 if space is available. The fees were meant to cover a 14-year period (2021–2035), as per court documents filed by the EFCC.

“The American school refunded the school fees in two tranches. Initially, it returned $720,000 to the EFCC and later $40,910,” a source said.

“Following mutual agreement with the EFCC, the school decided to retain some fees (I think $84,942) for its services.

“This is one of the aspects of our investigation which made us to ask Bello to come for interaction. But it is already part of our documents frontloaded to the Federal High Court in Abuja.

“You will recall that the Executive Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ola Olukoyede, had asked journalists to apply to the court for all evidence attached to the allegations against Bello. We will make this trial as transparent as possible.”

When asked for an official response, Mr. Dele Oyewale, the Head of Media and Publicity at EFCC, stated that the school has refunded $760,910 to the commission.

Another source at EFCC confirmed that the school sent a letter offering to refund the money to the Lagos Zonal Commander of EFCC before making the payment.

The letter said in part: “Please forward to us an official written request, with the authentic banking details of the EFCC, for the refund of the above-mentioned funds as previously indicated as part of your investigation into the alleged money laundering activities by the Bello family.

 “Since the 7th September 2021 to date, $845,852.84 in tuition and other fees have been deposited into our bank account.

“We have calculated the net amount to be transferred and refunded to the state after deducting the educational services rendered as $760,910.84.

“No further additional fees are expected in respect of tuition as the students’ fees have now been settled until they graduate from AISA.”

“One of the documents submitted to the court by the EFCC is an alleged agreement between one Ali Bello and the school for “Prepaid school fees until graduation”.

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By Adoga Stephen Editor-In-Chief
Stephen studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology), where he acquired requisite training for the practice of journalism. He loves the media, and his interest mostly lies in print medium, where his creative writing skill makes him a perfect fit.