Thu, 18 Jul 2024

 

Yahaya Bello moved $720,000 from state coffers to pay child’s school fees — Olukoyede
 
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Wed, 24 Apr 2024   ||   Nigeria,
 

Fresh revelations have emerged on the probe of former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as the anti-graft commission says the embattled ex-governor withdrew $720,000 from the state’s accounts to pay his child’s school fees in advance just before he left office on January 27, 2024.

EFCC chief Ola Olukoyede made this known in a chat with journalists at the Commission’s headquarters in the Jabi area of Abuja on Tuesday.

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 fee in advance.

He said, “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.

“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 inherit the case, I called for the case file and I said there are issues here.”

The EFCC chair sworn to follow the prosecution of the ex-governor to logical conclusion, saying that he will resign as EFCC chairman if Bello is not prosecuted.

He also vowed that all those who obstructed the arrest of the former governor would be brought to book.

The EFCC is seeking to arraign Bello on 19 counts bordering on alleged money laundering, breach of trust and misappropriation of funds to the tune of N80.2 billion.

He said that no matter what anyone does or the amount of attack against the anti-graft agency, he and his men will not relent in helping to sanitise the country.

Bello was the governor of the North Central state from January 27, 2016 to January 27, 2024 when he handed over to his fellow partyman in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Usman Ododo.

On April 17, 2024, armed EFCC operatives laid siege to Bello’s Abuja residence to arrest him but Ododo arrived at the house and allegedly whisked away his predecessor.

The EFCC subsequently declared Bello wanted, warning that obstruction to its operations won’t be tolerated, a moved backed by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, who advised Bello to turn himself in.

 

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