N80.2Billion Fraud: How Kogi Ex-Gov Yahaya Bello Paid School Fees Of Pre-School Child At American International School Abuja Till 2035 In Advance

 

 

Agreement documents and payment receipts have shown details of how the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, paid school fees for his children including his pre-school child, Zayyan Ali Bello, in advance up to 2034/35.

The payments were made to American International School, Abuja (AISA).

The documents released to the Federal Capital Territory High Court on December 19, 2023, surfaced on the internet following the ongoing investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) into the activities of Bello as governor.

In one of the receipts, payment was made for up to 2034/35 session.

In December 2023, SaharaReporters exclusively reported the EFCC had seized $760,910.84 from the money that Bello paid to American International School, Abuja, as prepaid school fees for four children until graduation, over alleged money laundering.

 

 

Documents obtained by SaharaReporters last December showed that Governor Bello through his nephew, Mr Ali Bello had entered an agreement with the school to pay tuition for his four children up to graduation in advance to secure their future.

The agreement was signed and executed on August 23, 2021. Following the execution of the agreement, a total of $845.852.84 was paid into the school account in varied instalments.

However, the anti-corruption agency as part of its oversight function, subsequently invited the school authorities for a series of interviews connected with the funds through a letter dated September 7, 2023, after about one year.

 

Sources told SaharaReporters that during the interrogation of officials of the school, the EFCC noted that the advanced school fees were proceeds of crime. It said that the school was being used as an unwitting money laundering tool and demanded that it should refund the monies to the agency through a dedicated account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

 

“During the interviews, the EFCC further informed the school authorities that the commission was empowered to seize the total funds or any portion thereof.

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“Following a review of the academic history of Governor Bello’s children with the school, the EFCC accepted that fees paid in relation to ongoing school sessions at the time did not amount to proceeds of crime and exempted the sum of $84.942.00.

“Subsequently, the commission made a demand for transfer of the of $760.910.84, representing advance tuition payment to its nominated account with the Central Bank of Nigeria,” documents obtained by SaharaReporters show.

 

Following the development, the school management wrote a letter dated October 27, 2022, to the EFCC, requesting an official written demand for the refund of the monies, but the anti-graft agency provided an account to which the monies should be paid.

 

The school first paid $1,000 and later paid the remaining $759,91084 to the account.

 

Meanwhile, Ali Bello is being prosecuted by the EFCC over a N3 billion fraud.

 

Ali Bello was arraigned in February alongside others at the Federal High Court on 18 counts of money laundering and misappropriation of about N3 billion.

 

SaharaReporters also exclusively reported in December 2023 how Ali Bello sued the American International School over an alleged breach of contractual agreement for prepaid school fees until graduation duly executed in 2021.

It was reported that he was seeking among others N100 million in damages against the school authorities for refunding the sum of $760,910.84 paid to the school account towards the education of Governor Bello’s children to a third party, EFCC, without any court order or his consent.

 

 

The agreement document titled, ‘Agreement for Prepaid School Fees Until Graduation’, and seen by SaharaReporters was signed on August 23, 2021 by Mr. Greg Hughes on behalf of the American International School, Abuja while Yahaya Bello’s nephew, Mr. Ali Bello, signed on behalf of the Bello family as the family’s representative.

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The document stated that “Mr. Ali Bello contacted the AISA (American International School of Abuja) on Friday 13 August 2021 requesting to pay the Bello family school fees in advance until the students graduate from High School.

 

“The request was forwarded to the Head of School, Mr. Greg Hughes who consulted with the Board President Mr. Kevin Bragg.

 

“It was decided by the School Management to accept Mr. Bello’s offer with the necessary conditions set out by both parties:

 

“Names of students and their current grade level for the academic year 2021/22 which commenced Thursday 12 August 2021: Farid Bello Grade 8; Zahra Bello Grade 6; Na’ima Bello Grade 4; Nana-Fatima Bello Grade 2.

 

“Future student to be enrolled in August 2022 if application is successful and there is space available – Zayyan Ali Bello Pre-School.

 

“Conditions: The Finance Office will prepare a statement of fees reflecting 100% fees due for the relevant years.

 

“Payment should be made on installments into AISA’s US account within a period of 4 months from the date at which document is signed by both parties;

 

“AISA cannot guarantee that the Board will continue granting discounts in the future. As and when changes to discount policies are made and approved by the Board, AISA will communicate these to the Bello family and be taken into account for calculations;

 

“Subject to clause 3 above, where discounts are granted, the discount component of the full fees will be retained to cater to any increase in fees or any future payments which may arise. It is also agreed that in case the increase exceeds the available retained discount, the family will pay the difference.

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“Fees to be charged are as per the current fee structure. These are tuition fees, application fees, annual development levy, English Language Learner fee, Learning support fee and the Capital Building fee.

 

“The Capital Building fee will only be applicable to Zayyan Ali Bello when he moves into kindergarten. If Zayyan is required by AISA to participate in the English Language Learner or Learning support program when he submits his application next year that would be an additional cost to the Bello family.

 

“Any unused portions of fees paid in advance, will be refunded to the account provided by the parents of the students in a reasonable time; these refunds can only be done into a U.S. Bank account and no cash refunds will be considered by AISA;

 

“Incidences that could warrant a refund are as follows but not limited to: Closure of AISA to students due to economic, financial and/or political reasons; Student withdrawal before graduating from AISA etc.; Student expulsion due to behavioral or any other reason taken by the School Administration etc.

 

“It is understood that refunds are with respect to the balance of pre-paid fees for subsequent years and not the current year in which the occurrence (closure, early withdrawal and expulsion) occurs.

 

“It is impossible to determine future fee increases, when they will be approved by the Board and what the percentage would be.

 

“Tuition fees and other related fees will be charged in full and where there is an increase in the fees, the parent will pay any difference that has occurred as a result of the increase in tuition and other related fees.

 

“The Signatures below are in acceptance of the above terms and conditions.”

 

 

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