EFCC Chairman Says Kogi Ex-Gov Misuse Funds for Personal Gain

Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello

Ola Olukoyede, the chairman of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has disclosed that Yahaya Bello, who was once the governor of Kogi State, took $720,000 from the state’s funds. He sent this money to a currency exchange service to cover his child’s school fees in advance before he finished his term.

Olukoyede shared these details with reporters in Abuja on Tuesday. He stated, “A governor, aware that his term was ending, shifted money straight from the state’s account to a currency exchange, and used it to prepay his child’s tuition, a total of $720,000, in preparation for his departure from the Government House.”

“In a state as financially challenged as Kogi, you expect me to overlook this, claiming that ‘I’m being manipulated.’ At this point in my life, who could manipulate me?” he added.

Olukoyede also mentioned that he tried to give Bello an opportunity to explain himself in a dignified manner at the EFCC office. However, Bello chose not to engage, expressing concern about potential harassment by a woman whose name was not mentioned.

Earlier, Yahaya Bello was declared wanted by Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly avoiding arrest and not appearing in court. The EFCC accused him of being involved in a fraud case worth about N80.2 billion. The commission made this announcement on April 18, 2024, and urged anyone with information about Bello’s whereabouts to report to the nearest police station or the EFCC.

The EFCC had previously attempted to serve charges at his residence, but they faced difficulties. It was reported that Bello was being protected by someone with immunity. Despite an order from the Kogi State high court restraining the EFCC from arresting or arraigning him, which has not been set aside, the EFCC continued to pursue the charges. Bello’s counsel argued that the charge was unconstitutional and that the court lacked jurisdiction.

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