Thu. May 23rd, 2024

By Ojukwu Emmanuel Chiadikaobi

 

The media office of Yahaya Bello, former governor of Kogi state, has issued a statement clarifying the recent controversy regarding the American International School Abuja (AISA) and the purported refund of $760,000 in school fees. The clarification comes amidst swirling allegations and media reports surrounding Bello’s involvement with the school and the use of state funds.

Recent reports surfaced alleging that Bello paid $720,000 in advance as fees for his children’s education at AISA, drawing funds from the coffers of the Kogi state government. These allegations have led to heightened scrutiny and legal action, with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) involved in investigating the matter.

Yahaya Bello’s media office has vehemently refuted the claims, labeling them as a “mischievous narrative.” According to the statement, Bello’s children have been attending AISA prior to his governorship, and their fees have been paid without fail, with no involvement of Kogi state funds.

The media office asserts that the payments in question began in 2021 and were not made using state resources. Additionally, they contest the figures cited by the EFCC chairman, stating that the actual amounts paid differ from the allegations.

Furthermore, the statement highlights that the EFCC’s attempt to recover funds from the school was unsuccessful, with the court ruling in favor of the institution to continue providing services. The documents referenced in the media are described as public court filings, indicating transparency on Bello’s part.

The statement emphasizes that the matter is the subject of an ongoing court case, and Bello’s team awaits the EFCC’s evidence in court. They pledge not to engage in prejudicial statements while the legal proceedings unfold, asserting Bello’s commitment to due process.

Despite the EFCC’s actions, including laying siege to Bello’s residence and declaring him wanted, the media office asserts that Bello will not be intimidated by blackmail and will continue to follow legal procedures.

The controversy surrounding Yahaya Bello’s alleged involvement in the payment of school fees and subsequent legal action underscores the complexities of governance and accountability. As the case unfolds, the public awaits further developments and a resolution to the ongoing legal dispute. Yahaya Bello’s steadfast commitment to due process and transparency remains a focal point amidst the swirling allegations and media scrutiny.

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