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Monday, May 27, 2024

Why Collect $700,000 Excess Fees From Ex-Gov. Bello, Former Presidential Aide Asks American International School

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Seasoned journalist & former presidential aide, Laolu Akande, has raised concerns over the American International School Abuja’s acceptance of a $760,000 advance fee for former Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello’s children’s school fees.

He made this known on Friday on Channels Television’s programme InsideSources With Laolu Akande.

Akande, a Nigerian-American, who himself practiced journalism in leading US newspapers before relocating to Nigeria, said “Unknown to many people, besides the several other billions which Bello is alleged to have stolen, the EFCC has also secured a refund of over $760,000 paid in by his nephew, Alli Bello who is the current Chief of Staff to the Governor of Kogi State. He paid the money to the American International School in Abuja as pre-paid advance school fees for both of their children to cover several years.

“And we are told that the rule in the school is that you don’t pay more than two years max, in advance,” the veteran journalist said.

He noted that the advance payment beyond the American International School’s limit could be a form of money laundering.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had accused the ex-governor of looting $720,000 from the Kogi state treasury to pay his children’s tuition fees. This month, the anti-corruption agency laid siege to Bello’s Abuja residence and was unsuccessful in securing his arrest. It later declared the ex-governor wanted, with the police announcing the withdrawal of Bello’s security details.

Akande continued: “More befuddlling, however, last week, Governor Usman Ododo allegedly whisked his predecessor away to prevent the EFCC from arresting him in Abuja.

“Both of them, their conduct is a big shame to all of us as a people and country. We have a former Governor behaving like a fugitive. Why is Bello afraid of arrest?”

The controversy arose when reports surfaced alleging that the American International School Abuja accepted the substantial advance payment from Bello.

Before returning to Nigeria in 2015 Akande was a US college professor, a communication consultant and also worked at the Philadelphia Inquirer, & Newsday in Long Island, NY.

He is the only Nigerian journalist to conduct an interview with sitting US president, in 2003 with former President George Bush at the White House.

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