The embattled former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, has been alleged to have withdrawn $720,000 from the coffers of the state to pay his child’s school fees in advance.

Ola Olukoyede, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), made this claim while speaking to newsmen at the agency’s Headquarters on Tuesday.

The EFCC boss, however, vowed to resign from his position if the immediate past Governor is not prosecuted over case of alleged money laundering to the tune of N80.2 billion. 

According to him, all those who obstructed the arrest of the former governor would be brought to book, adding that he remained passionate about the need to move the country forward.

He said, “A sitting Governor because he knows he is going, you move money directly from the government to Bureau de Change, use it to pay the child’s school fee in advance in dollars. $720,000 in anticipation that he was going to leave the government house in a poor state like Kogi. And you want me to close my eyes, under the guise of I am being used at this stage of my life. By who? I assumed office here six months ago.”

Speaking on his efforts to honour the former Governor, Olukoyede stated that the case wasn’t fresh with the commission as he inherited it from the former EFCC boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa.

“I did not initiate the case. I inherited the case file. I called for the file, I called for the report and I said something is wrong here. Do you know on my honour, I put a call through to him, something I was not supposed to have done because he is a former Governor. I told him, Sir, there are issues, let us clarify these issues. I am under camera. He told me Thank You, sir, I know, but I can’t come. There is a lady, a Senator that he learnt she has surrounded the EFCC with over 100 journalists to come and intimidate and embarrass him.—&client=ca-pub-1896573800096815&output=html&h=356&adk=2047323095&adf=853050795&pi=t.aa~a.2437174048~i.20~rp.4&w=428&lmt=1713895428&num_ads=1&rafmt=1&armr=3&sem=mc&pwprc=2960879965&ad_type=text_image&format=428×356&!f&btvi=4&fsb=1&dtd=2717

“I said if that’s the case. I am going to pass you through my gate, the special man’s gate, my floor, you will come through directly to my floor. You have my respect. I will invite my operatives to come and interview you in my own office to allay the fears. He said Thank You, sir, but can’t they come to my village? My director of investigation sent a message to him. We need this institution to survive.”  

According to him, as against the reportage in some media, he stated that the agency secured a court order becore attempting to arrest Yahaya Bello. 

He added that despite being armed, he ensured his operatives abide to the law of the land. Olukoyede stated that Yahaya Bello was whisked away by his successor, Usman Ododo.

“I did not go after this man, not until the day we got this order. I told them to mount surveillance to forestall the breakdown of law and order. Eventually, when we got this order, we were supposed to move in. That was when the Governor (Usman Ododo) came in with his vehicle. Even though, they have denied, we have all the video evidence and he whisked this man away.

“On arriving at his premises, we met over 30 armed policemen and 10 Counter Terrorist Unit personnel with him (Yahaya Bello). His CSO is a senior DSS officer. We met them there. I went with my gallant men, over 50 of them armed to the teeth. If i have opened fire, we would have killed people, and there would have been casualties. That is what people are condemning us for.

“We are a sophisticated law enforcement agency, We are not the military. What we investigate are financial crimes (white-collar crimes). There are certain things that may be lawful for us but may not be expedient and nobody would have asked me to do it. I am a lawyer. So, if I had killed one or two people because of a white-collar crime, what would I have done if it were terrorists? 

“Was it not worse for him to have even run away that day because if he had submitted himself to us that day, we wouldn’t have declared him wanted,” he added.