Mohammed Bello-Koko has been appointed as the substantive managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
A substantive appointment means an appointment made in a everlasting capability on a vacant place or a place that one other particular person holds a suspended lien.
Bello-Koko has been the performing managing director of the NPA since the suspension of Hadiza Bala Usman in 2021 over the allegation of failure to remit the N165 billion working surplus to the coffers of the federal government.
The ministry of transportation announced his appointment on Tuesday at the same time as the administrative panel cleared Bala Usman of the fraud allegation, which was the purpose for her suspension.
In 2021, Bello-Koko was named in the Pandora Papers, a trove of 11.9 million leaked confidential data obtained by the Worldwide Consortium of Investigative Journalists, as anonymously owning properties by offshore corporations.
BUT FIRST, WHO IS BELLO-KOKO?
Mohammed Bello-Koko was born on March 25,1969 in Koko-Besse LGA of Kebbi state. He attended the Federal Authorities School, Sokoto, for his secondary education in 1986 earlier than continuing to the College of Sokoto for his first diploma in Administration Research (B.Sc) in 1992.
Mohammed continued at the Usman Danfodio College, Sokoto, for his grasp’s diploma in enterprise administration (MBA) in 1995.
TWO DECADES-LONG CAREER IN BANKING SECTOR
Bello-Koko began his profession with FSB Worldwide Financial institution Plc, Port Harcourt, in 1996 as government trainee-banking operations. He rose to a number of positions, amongst that are senior banking officer-energy sector (ENSEC) in cost of managing varied oil & fuel associated multinational accounts and sub-contractors and later turned department supervisor.
He later joined Zenith Financial institution in 2005, the place he turned deputy basic supervisor and zonal head, which made him a member of the financial institution’s government administration staff until he left in 2015.
Throughout this era, Bello-Koko was a financial institution’s accounts officer to the Rivers states authorities when Rotimi Amaechi was governor.
NAMED IN PANDORA PAPERS FOR ACQUIRING SECRET OFFSHORE COMPANIES, LONDON PROPERTIES
The Pandora Papers challenge was led by the Worldwide Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which Premium Instances is part of.
The Pandora Papers include leaked records data reportedly gotten from offshore service corporations globally.
In response to the expose by Pandora Papers, Bello-Koko, along with his spouse, Agatha Anne Koko, enlisted the providers of economic secrecy vendor, Cook dinner Worldwide and Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee (Alcogal), an offshore legislation agency, to secretly register Coulwood Restricted (reg. quantity: 1487897) and Marney Restricted (reg. quantity: 1487944) in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), one in every of the world’s mostly used tax havens, in 2008. Each corporations had been registered the similar day, June 19, 2008.
The regulators in the BVI additionally had his corporations beneath look ahead to suspected cash laundering — an issue Alcogal reportedly helped him deal with with some misinformation offered to the regulators.
Utilizing the two corporations, Coulwood Restricted and Marney Restricted, tucked away offshore, Bello-Koko then anonymously acquired 5 London properties.
As a public servant, Bello-Koko had violated Nigeria’s Code of Conduct legal guidelines by failing to declare his property overseas, significantly the 5 London properties.
Throughout the interval he acquired the shell corporations and the first 4 UK properties, he was nonetheless in the non-public sector and due to this fact didn’t violate Nigerian legislation.
However one in every of the properties was mentioned to have been acquired in 2017 after he took up an appointment at the NPA. He was appointed government director for finance and administration in 2016 and later performing MD in 2021.
The opposite 4 properties had been acquired between 2009 and 2012, making Bello-Koko doubtlessly exploit UK tax loopholes that allowed the proudly owning of UK properties utilizing so-called envelope construction, that’s, anonymously proudly owning properties by offshore corporations.
Evaluation of the investments confirmed that between 2008 and 2012, 4 years earlier than Mr Bello-Koko joined the NPA, he had spent on 4 London properties a sum of £995,000, an equal of N293 million at 2015 alternate price of N294 to a pound.
Responding to the allegation in an interview with ThisDay, Bello-Koko mentioned the properties had been “purchased from income from my private business and mortgage loans from a bank in the UK, long before I was appointed to NPA”.
“Those companies are not trading companies. They are Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) for the sole purpose of holding an investment, and they were created between 2006 and 2007.
“The property being claimed I purchased in 2017 was actually purchased off-plan in 2013, and completion was supposed to be in early 2016, but it was shifted to 2017, and by then, I was already working at NPA.”