EFCC Asks Yahaya Bello’s Children’s School to Refund $845,000 Fees

26th April 2024

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has requested a refund of $845,000 from the American International School, Abuja (AISA), allegedly paid in advance by former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, for his children’s education.

The move comes amidst investigation of Bello for suspected money laundering activities.

EFCC chairman Ola Olukoyede revealed Bello withdrew $720,000 from state coffers for the purpose.

Bello reportedly signed a contract with AISA to prepay $845,000 for his eldest son, Ali Bello, until his graduation in 2034.

Olukoyede alleged that Bello moved the money from the state coffers to a Bureau de Change operator, and used the money for his child’s school fees in advance.

“A sitting governor, because he knew he was leaving office, moved money directly from the government to Bureau de Change (and) used it to pay his child’s school fee in advance,” Olukoyede said

“Over $720,000 or thereabout, in anticipation that he was going to leave the Government House. In a poor state like Kogi? And you want me to close my eyes under the guise of ‘I’m being used’. Used by who? At this stage of my life? Used by who?

“I didn’t initiate the case; I inherited the case. I called for the case file and I said there are issues here”, he added.

The documents reportedly revealed four additional Bello’s children enrolled at AISA for the 2021/22 academic year, with a potential sixth child planned for enrolment in August 2022.

The agreement reportedly covered not just Ali Bello, but also siblings Farid Bello (Grade 8), Zahra Bello (Grade 6), Na’ima Belio (Grade 4), Nana-Fatima Bello (Grade 2), and a future student who will be enrolled in August 2022.

EFCC has requested a full refund, citing the alleged source of the funds.

AISA, in response, confirmed receiving $845,852.84 from the Bello family in September 2021.

The school, however, claimed that they were entitled to deduct the cost of educational services already rendered to Bello’s children.

AISA offered to refund $760,910.84, representing the remaining balance after deducting these fees.

AISA letter to EFCC reads; “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 (Eight Hundred and Forty-Five Thousand, Eight Hundred and Fifty-Two US Dollars and eighty-four cents) in tuition and other fees has 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. (Seven Hundred and Sixty Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ten US Dollars and Eighty Four cents).

“No further additional fees are expected in respect of tuition, as the students’ fees have now been settled until they graduate from ASIA. Should any further deposits be made into ASIA’s bank account/s, we will disclose and inform you immediately, without delay.”