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Bello withdrew $720,000 from state account for his children’s school fees – EFCC Chair Olukoyede

At a news conference, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission stated that he is not out to witch-hunt anyone but to make Nigeria great.

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Ex-governor of Kogi State, Mr. Yahaya Bello, withdrew $720,000 from the state account to pay for his children’s school fees, the anti-graft agency chairman, Mr. Ola Olukoyede, disclosed in Abuja.

At a news conference, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission stated that he is not out to witch-hunt anyone but to make Nigeria great.

He said: “I am so passionate about us moving forward in this country. How do you move money directly from the government account to the Bureau de Change?

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“He withdrew $720,000 directly from the government account in anticipation he was going to leave power and paid for his children’s school fees in advance, in a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that?

“I didn’t initiate the case. I inherited the case file; I called for the case file. I called him out of respect so he can come to the office so we clarify these issues. He told us to come to his village instead.”

Olukoyede said the EFCC needs the support of Nigerians to succeed, as he emphasized that “if the agency fails, Nigeria fails.”

He noted that the agency’s significant progress has positively impacted the value of the naira and the foreign market.

Meanwhile, Bello said he was ready to appear before the Federal High Court in Abuja to answer the 19-count charge the EFCC preferred against him.

In the charges, EFCC accused him, his nephew Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman, and Abdulsalam Hudu (said to still be at large) of conspiring to convert the total sum of N80 billion in public funds to personal use in February 2016.

The commission alleged that Mr. Bello and others “reasonably ought to have known” that the money “forms part of the proceeds of your unlawful activity” – criminal breach of trust.

EFCC also alleged in another count that Mr. Bello, between July 26, 2021, and April 6, 2022, in Abuja, aided a firm, E-Traders International Limited, to conceal the aggregate sum of over N3 billion (N3,081,804,654) in account number 1451458080, domiciled in Access Bank Plc.

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