The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has given details on how former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, Withdrew $7200 from the state government account to pay his children’s school fees upfront.

The details were made available on Tuesday by the Executive Chairman of the Commission, Ola Olukoyede.

He said that he made personal efforts to invite Mr Bello to respond to investigations regarding his alleged involvement in money laundering to the tune of N80,246,470,089.88( Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand  and Eighty Nine Naira, Eighty Eight Kobo).

 Mr Olukoyede stated this in Abuja on Tuesday, April 23, 2024 while addressing media executives at the Corporate Headquarters of the EFCC. 

According to him, he had a telephone conversation with Bello offering him ample opportunities to present himself for interrogation by investigators of the EFCC.

“On my honour,  I put a call to him to honour him as a former governor. He said, I can’t come, claiming that a certain lady has surrounded  the EFCC with over 100 Journalists to embarrass or intimidate him and all that stuff.   I said if that is your fear, I will make you come directly to my floor.  I will invite my operatives to interrogate you in my own office.  What could be more honourable than that? Do you know what he said? ‘ Can’t they come to my village?’  My Director of Investigations also sent a message to him”,  he said.

 The EFCC’s boss said he was worried at the report of larceny available to the EFCC concerning the former governor.  “ A sitting governor, because he knew he was going,  he moved money directly  from the government’s account to a bureau de change  to pay his children’s school fees in advance,  $7,200 , in anticipation that he was going to leave government house.

Mr Olukoyede also disclosed that the EFCC,  in its bid to ensure the safety and stability of the foreign exchange market, has uncovered a new fraudulent scheme called P to P, peer to peer trading scheme. 

The platform, according to him,   is operating outside  the official banking and financial corridors ,with more than 300( three hundred) accounts linked to it  already frozen by the EFCC.  He reaffirmed the commitment of the Commission to the economic growth and development of the country,  promising that the EFCC would not relent in the exercise of its mandate.  He told the media executives that the Commission has recovered more than N120billion from fraudsters within six months and secured more than 1300 convictions.

 He called on Nigerians to be more dedicated to the nation,  insisting that  patriotic Nigerians should offer more support to the EFCC because the Commission is crucial to the growth and development of Nigeria.  

‘’If you support the EFCC,  you are working for the growth of Nigeria.  We all have stakes in the wellbeing of our nation”,  he said.

Meanwhile, the commission has denied disobeying a court order in relation to the arrest of Mr Bello.

In a Press Statement signed by the EFCC’s Acting Director,  Public Affairs,  Wilson Uwujaren,  the Commission clearly pointed out that though Bello sought refuge in a fundamental rights enforcement action through an order granted by  Justice Isa Jamil Abdulallahi of the Kogi State High Court,  the order did not vitiate or nullify an order made by the Federal High Court for  the arrest of the former governor for the purpose of his arraignment.

  “The enrolled Order of the Kogi State High Court only granted an order to enforce Bello’s right to personal liberty and freedom of movement, it didn’t preclude the Federal High Court ‘to make any Order as it may deem just in the determination of the rights of the Applicant and the Respondent as may be submitted to her for consideration and determination”,  he said.

 He further stressed that,  “The Order made by the Federal  High Court for the arrest of Mr. Yahaya Bello for the purpose of his arraignment is not in conflict with the Order of the Kogi State High Court. The case before the Federal High Court is a criminal charge which is different from the fundamental rights enforcement action that is the subject of an appeal”.

 Uwujaren pointed out that the EFCC had a shining track record in the prosecution of politically exposed persons  and would continue to exercise its mandate in the overall interest of the nation.  He admonished Bello to turn himself in and answer to the charges preferred against him by the Commission.

He called on all patriotic Nigerians to lend their voices in support of the Commission, stressing that ” the EFCC will not relent in its quest to wrestle corruption to the ground.”

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