In a legal dispute that has recently come to light, Mr. Ali Bello, the nephew of Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, has filed a lawsuit against the American International School, Abuja (AISA). The lawsuit stems from an alleged breach of a contractual agreement for prepaid school fees until graduation, executed in 2021.
Bello is seeking N100 million in damages from the school authorities for refunding the substantial sum of $760,910.84, paid towards the education of Governor Bello’s children, to a third party – the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The refund reportedly occurred without a court order or Bello’s consent.
As previously reported, Ali Bello, acting on behalf of the governor, had entered into an agreement to pay the advanced school fees for Governor Bello’s four children until their graduation from the school. However, approximately a year later, the EFCC instructed the school to refund the sum of $760,910.84 to a specified account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Allegedly complying with the EFCC directive, the school’s action has jeopardized the education of Governor Bello’s children, as the institution threatened to terminate their enrollment if tuition fees were not settled promptly.
It is noteworthy that Ali Bello and two others are currently facing prosecution by the EFCC over a separate N3 billion fraud case. The charges, including money laundering and misappropriation, were brought against them at the Federal High Court.
In response to the breach of the prepaid school fees agreement, Ali Bello has initiated legal proceedings against the American International School, Abuja. The lawsuit, filed in the Federal Capital Territory High Court under suit No: FCT/HC/CV/2574/2023, seeks a declaration that fees paid by Governor Yahaya Bello cannot be forfeited or refunded to the government while he holds office as governor, asserting that no laws were violated.
Through originating summons, Bello, represented by his lawyer Zekeri Garuba Esq of Ahmed Raji & Co., posed three questions for determination by the court and requested seven reliefs. These include declarations that a binding contract exists, the school cannot lawfully refund fees without court order or consent, and the school’s unilateral action constitutes a breach of the agreement.
Among the reliefs sought is a payment of N100 million in damages against the school for the breach. The comprehensive legal action aims to address the complex web of contractual disputes and financial transactions surrounding the prepaid school fees and ensure a fair resolution in line with the executed agreement.