Following the revelation by the Pandora Papers, a northern based youth organization under the auspices of Unified Nigerian Youths Forum (UNYF), has passed a vote of no confidence on the Acting Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko and subsequently requested President Muhammadu Buhari to sack him if he refuses to resign his appointment.
This was contained in a statement signed by the President of the group, Comrade Abdulsalam Mohammed Kazeem.
The Pandora leaks had exposed how the NPA boss hid his offshore business behind two shell companies incorporated in a tax and secrecy haven — British Virgin Island to anonymously invest in the “United Kingdom property market and potentially violating Nigeria’s public service code of conduct laws.”
Bello-Koko became Acting MD of NPA following the suspension of Hadiza Bala-Usman. Before her suspension, The New Diplomat had reported that Usman had disagreement with Rotimi Amaechi, Nigeria’s Transportation Minister, earlier in the year over NPA’s remittances to the federal covers.
Leaked documents revealed that Bello-Koko and his wife, Agatha Anne Koko, enlisted the services of financial secrecy seller, Cook Worldwide and Alemán; Cordero; Galindo & Lee (Alcogal), an offshore law firm, to secretly register Coulwood Limited (reg. number: 1487897) and Marney Limited (reg. number: 1487944) in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), one of the world’s most commonly used tax havens in 2008.
Through the two companies: Coulwood Limited and Marney Limited which he registered in one day, Bello-Koko was said to have anonymously acquired five London properties. According to Pandora leaks, four of the properties were acquired between 2009 and 2012, and that Bello-Koko potentially exploited UK tax loopholes that allowed the owning of UK properties using the so-called envelope structure, that is, anonymously owning properties through offshore companies.
Reacting to damning revelations, the concerned youths picked holes in the activities of the embattled NPA’s boss, saying the continued stay in office of the Acting Managing Director will remain a stain on the anti-corruption crusade of the present administration.
According to the group’s President, “the news of the Indictment of the Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority in the Pandora Papers revelations didn’t come to the Unified Nigerian Youths Forum (UNYF) as surprise, as the man behind the storm has been hovering around the warmth heat of power for almost two decades now.
“In the revelation by the Consortium of over 600 Journalists, Popular known as Pandora Papers, the Ex Banker turned public servants was accused of acquiring houses in the United Kingdom when he was the account officer of Mr Rotimi Amaechi, the current Minister of Transportation. The result of his “good work” led to his reward as Executive Director Finance and Administration of the Nigerian Ports Authority.
“While serving as the Head of Finance of Nigeria’s lucrative Ports Authority, there has been allegations of missing and unaccounted billions of Naira, which led to questionable suspension of Hajiya Hadiza Bala Usman and speedy elevation of Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko as her successor. Hadiza can’t be guilty while Bello-Koko is Snow-like white, they both work as partner in either ways, and as such if not for our bad leadership system, Mr Koko has no business in Nigeria Port Authority after the uncelebrated exit of Hadiza Bala Usman.
“Sadly, The documents further revealed that Mr Koko and his wife are still operating an offshore company against the spirit and letter of Nigeria’s Code of Conduct rules for Public servants.
“Despite exhibiting and emitting putrefying character, it is alleged that Mr Bello-Koko is ready to compromise relevant people to secure confirmation as the substantive head of the NPA at the detriment of many qualified Nigerians.
“As Youths Leaders who believe in the one Nigerian project, we can’t continue to watch people who have been entrusted with the mandate to generate revenue for the smooth running of the country launder same overseas while our economy continue to crawl like an infant. Nigeria has all it takes to be self-sufficient, it is unpatriotic leaders like Mr Koko that are exposing and enslaving our country to serial debts, which has effect on our country prosperity.
“It is on this sad note that the UNYF unanimously resolved to: Pass vote of no confidence on the Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko and call for his resignation as the Acting Head of NPA; Call on Mr President to immediately sack Mr Koko where he fails to eat the humble pie and resign. As his continue stay in office will remain stain on the anti-corruption crusade of the present administration; Occupy all Nigerian Ports and the National Assembly where he fails to resign or be sacked within seven days”, he argued.
Speaking further, the Youth leader disclosed that “we also call on Code of Conduct Tribunal and the Economic and financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to dust the file of Mr Bello-Koko and summon him to answer some questions.
“We call on the Minister of Justice to use all instruments of our laws to ensure every Kobo that was stolen from Nigeria and Nigerians is returned,” the statement added.