A group, the Global Integrity Crusade Network, has given the Code of Conduct Bureau seven days to investigate Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko, over allegations of fraud.
In a petition to the Inspector-General of Police, the group urged the CCB and anti-graft agencies to look into the matter as it will not hesitate to embark on mass protest after the expiration of the ultimatum.
The petition signed by Anna Ofunu Ikwuta, Assistant Secretary of GICN, partly reads, “We have submitted a petition to the Code of Conduct Bureau against Mohammed Bello-Koko who is suspected to have massively deployed funds gotten from fraud and underhand activities to acquire choice properties in the United Kingdom.
“He acquired these properties using Coulwood Limited and Marney Limited being companies secretly registered on June 19, 2008 in his name and that of his wife, Agatha Anne Koko, within the British Virgin Islands.
“We demand that CCB should perform its statutory duty under the law by commencing investigation on Mohammed Bello-Koko and accordingly furnish us with interim investigation report within seven days which shall elapse on January 25, 2022.
“As a follow-up after expiration of the ultimatum already given, we have decided to call the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari as well as the National Assembly, media and the international community by way of a peaceful protest to show the effort GICN had made to flush out perceived monumental corruption from NPA and how the CCB under the leadership of Prof Mohammed Isah frustrated us.
“The protest shall hold on January 26, 2022.
“We take solace in Section 24 (d) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), which provides that it shall be the duty of every citizen to make positive and useful contribution to the advancement, progress and well-being of the community where he resides.
“Therefore, we are convinced that you will cooperate with us as usual in view of the fact that Section 40 of the 1999 constitution and Articles 7 and 11 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap 10 LFN 1990 guarantee our rights to peaceful assembly.”
Over the years, the NPA has earned a notorious reputation as being one of Nigeria’s most corrupt agencies.
In 2009, Bode George, Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority from 2001 to 2003, was sentenced along with five other board members of the agency after being found guilty of charges including offering contracts beyond their approved limits.
In August 2017, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission probed former officials of the NPA over a $20m bribe scam.
Despite the purported anti-corruption stance of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the NPA continues to be linked with all manners of corrupt practices.