Governor Yahaya Bello, according to the 2023 budget performance report of Kogi State, spent the sum of N727,818,000 to purchase two Toyota buses for members of the State House of Assembly, SaharaReporters has confirmed.
Further checks showed that the money was spent without appropriation or approval by the Assembly members.
The report titled “KOGI STATE GOVERNMENT BUDGET PERFORMANCE REPORT QUARTER 3, 2023” was published on the Kogi State government website.
It revealed that the Bello-led government spent extra N647.8million without appropriation to make the purchase.
The lawmakers had approved N80million for the purchase of the two Toyota buses in the 2023 budget.
“011200300100 – KOGI STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Members’ 30 Seater two(2) Nos Toyota Bus N80,000,000.00 – N727,818,000.00 – N727,818,000.00,” the document read.
Also, “Consultancy Expenses on Full Automation of Budget Process/Bello Care Financial Solution” has gulped N360,945,179.00 in the last 9 months. 022000100100 – MINISTRY OF FINANCE, BUDGET AND ECONOMIC PLANNING Consultancy Expenses on Full Automation of Budget Process/Bello Care Financial Solution. N450,000,000.00 – N360,945,179.00 80.2%.”
A further check on the report revealed that N951,493,735.24 was spent on honorarium, refreshment, meals and welfare in the first nine months of 2023.
A total N11,281,497.52 was also spent between January and September on burial expenses. The state lawmakers had allocated N64.5 million for such expenses in the budget.
In 2022, SaharaReporters exclusively reported how Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), traced no fewer than 147 houses to Bello’s nephews.
Aliyu Bello and Dauda Suleiman – the two nephews of the governor, were said to have been used to siphon N10.2billion from the state government accounts and were arrested abs detained for many days.
Aliyu and Dauda, alongside one Abdulsalami Hudu, Cashier of Kogi State House Administration (now at large) were arrested and subsequently arraigned before Justice James Kolawole Omotosho of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja by the EFCC on 10 counts bordering on misappropriation and money laundering to the tune of N10.2 billion.
Aliyu Bello and Dauda Suleiman were accused of fraudulently withdrawing a sum of N10,270,556,800 (Ten Billion, Two Hundred and Seventy Million, Five Hundred and Fifty-six Thousand Eight Hundred Naira), from the Kogi State treasury, which they delivered to a Bureau de Change operator, Rabiu Tafada in Abuja to keep or change to foreign currencies for personal gains.
Another sources had told SaharaReporters that the 147 houses linked to the governor’s nephews were discovered in Abuja alone.
Bello became governor in 2015 after he was named as the replacement of the late Abubakar Audu who died before he could be sworn in.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) chose Bello over James Faleke, Audu’s running mate, because he came second in the primary election.