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EFCC Seizes $760,000 Paid by Kogi State, Governor Bello for Children’s Schooling

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In recent revelations, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has seized a sum of $760,910.84 paid by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to the American International School, Abuja, intended as prepaid school fees for his four children. This action was taken by the EFCC over alleged money laundering concerns.

Documents uncovered shed light on an agreement made by Governor Bello, facilitated by his nephew, Mr. Ali Bello, to prepay tuition fees for his children’s education until they graduate from the school. The agreement, executed in August 2021, outlined payments totaling $845,852.84 made in multiple installments to the school’s account.

Following its oversight mandate, the EFCC summoned school authorities for interviews regarding the funds through a letter dated September 7, 2023, approximately a year after the agreement’s execution. During these interviews, the EFCC expressed suspicions that the advanced school fees constituted proceeds of crime and insisted on the reimbursement of the funds through a designated Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) account, citing the school’s unwitting role in money laundering.

While acknowledging fees paid for ongoing school sessions were not deemed illicit, the EFCC exempted $84,942.00. The remainder, totaling $760,910.84, was demanded by the EFCC to be transferred to its specified CBN account. Subsequently, after the school requested an official written demand, they complied by paying $1,000 initially and the remaining sum thereafter.

In a separate case, Ali Bello faces prosecution by the EFCC over a N3 billion fraud, having been arraigned in February alongside others on charges of money laundering and misappropriation of funds. Rashida Bello, another defendant, remains at large in connection to the case.

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These recent actions by the EFCC underscore their intensified efforts to curb financial impropriety and money laundering.


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