Group tells Buhari to sack acting NPA MD Bello-Koko
It noted that the then Managing Director of NPA couldn’t have been able to dip her hands in the national treasury without the active connivance of the Executive Director in charge of Finance.
A group, Nigeria United Against Corruption (NUAC), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the acting Managing Director of Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Bello Koko over his alleged involvement in some high profile corrupt practices.
The group in a statement signed by its Spokesman, Amb. Zarewa Salisu Sageer, stressed the need for Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko, acting Managing Director of the NPA, to be thoroughly investigated over his role in the allegations of mismanagement of funds and short remittance of generated revenue of the agency which led to the suspension of former MD, Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman.
It noted that the then Managing Director of NPA couldn’t have been able to dip her hands in the national treasury without the active connivance of the Executive Director in charge of Finance, saying that anything short of that would make Nigerians believe that the probe on NPA is aimed at witch-hunting Usman while shielding Bello-Koko will only make fool of the anti-corruption crusade of the Federal Government.
Read statement below:
OUR STRONG APPEAL TO PRESIDENT MUHAMMAD BUHARI TO SACK ACTING M.D OF THE NIGERIAN PORTS AUTHORITY NPA BELLO KOKO
Gentlemen of the Press, it’s now two months since the release of the Pandora Papers by a consortium of journalists across the world, which showcased high-level acts of corruption perpetrated by politicians, Captains of industries and heads of government Parastatals. And this expose has succeeded in bringing to the fore the high wired looting of our national patrimony by the privileged few who by accident of fate found themselves in public office and position of public trust.
One particular case that has been lingering and generating lots of interest and chained reaction in the media both online and offline is that of the Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko. We wish to ask, why has the President not used insecticide to flush out this corrupt individual out of the system.
Gentlemen of the fourth estate of the realm, fellow Compatriots who are gathered here today, One fundamental fact we must note is that the cardinal and topmost campaign promise that brought President Muhammadu Buhari to power is his integrity and his commitment to combat and fight corruption to a standstill because the President popular campaign mantra during the 2015 Presidential Election was *”If we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria”*. Today, corruption is on the verge of killing Nigeria if immediate and urgent action is not taken to rid the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) of bad leadership, which is undermining the revenue-generating base of the nation. At this juncture, we wish to say that we wholeheartedly believe in President Buhari’s sincerity and we also believe that he meant well for our country. But we are surprised to see that the President is yet to take action on the corrupt allegations levelled against the Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko and his subsequent indictment by the report of the Pandora Papers.
We are of the strong opinion, that for the ongoing Anti-corruption war to be successful, our Nation must ensure that there are no sacred cows, and no stone should be left unturned in the course of the fight against corruption in Nigeria. We wish to make a passionate appeal to Mr President to listen to the cries of Nigerians by sacking Mohammed Bello-Koko without further delay because his continued stay in office is capable of soiling the good image of Nigeria amongst the international community.
As the wise saying goes *”What is good for the goose is also good for the gander”* we expect President Buhari to act swiftly by sacking Mohammed Bello-Koko in the same way and manner he sacked Hadiza Bala Usman when she was accused of corrupt practices. It’s now crystal clear that Bello-Koko having been the Executive Director of Finance during the reign of Hadiza Bala Usman cannot be completely absolved from the corruption of that era at the Nigeria Ports Authority.
Worthy of note is the fact that Mohammed Bello-Koko has not properly declared the properties he stashed abroad with ill-gotten wealth, which is a clear contravention of the Code of Conduct for Public Officials. It’s also a fact that the Law expressly prohibits public officers from operating foreign accounts or running private businesses. This in itself should be enough reason to suspend Bello-Koko from office, the same way the former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Walter Onnoghen was suspended in 2019
The refusal of the EFCC to invite Mohammed Bello-Koko to answer for his corrupt practices make us wonder if the Anti-corruption agency is truly fighting for Nigerians? If other sectors can be cleaned, why is the silence over NPA? On this note, we wish to put the EFCC on notice that going forward they would have us to contend with because as from Monday next week we will embark on a massive protest to EFCC headquarters to compel the Commission to invite Mohammed Bello-Koko to answer for his economic crimes of against the nation.
As a responsible Civil Society Organization, we can not afford to fold our arms and watch vultures and economic vampires destroy our country through selfish and self-centred material aggrandizement, that’s why we are playing our part by exposing acts of corruption. And we urge President Buhari to do the needful in the sense of reflecting the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.
The Nigerian Ports Authority is one of the critical revenue-generating agencies of the nation. As such it’s too important to be left in the hands of Kleptomaniac and individuals without personal integrity.
Evidence of our findings confirmed that Mohammed Bello-Koko is a very dishonest individual who used his position during his time at Zenith Bank to help lots of corrupt politicians in laundering public funds and hiding the proceeds in Tax Havens abroad. Such a character with a penchant for dishonesty has no business occupying public office, let alone being the head of one of the most important revenue-generating agencies of government, the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA).
Finally, we will not relent in this struggle until justice is done on this matter and President Buhari sacked all corrupt public officials in his government.
Thank you and God bless
Amb. Zarewa Salisu Sageer
NIGERIA UNITED AGAINST CORRUPTION