Documents in the possession of Saharareporters detail extensive corrupt activities by Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro.
Mr. Okiro was recently accused of scamming potential police recruits of N2 billion, out of the sum realized from N2000 charged each potential recruit who applied online. A committee of the House of Representatives recently learnt that Okiro planned to pay 60% of the realized amount to consultants. The consultancy fees amount to N1.2 billion.
The identity of the so-called consultants to whom the huge sum was paid remains a mystery to the Nigerian public, but Saharareporters investigators have discovered that, much like the disgraced former Inspector General of Police, Tafa Balogun, IGP Okiro runs a lucrative business in major cities around Nigeria.
In Abuja, our investigators found out that the blurry-eyed Okiro owns several businesses, including a shopping plaza, Yvonne Hotel and Casino in Lugbe, and a massive private school enterprise known as "Lugbe International Academy" that offers primary and secondary school education. The school is located in the Lugbe section of Abuja. Both the hotel and school are classified as illegal structures.
A look at the introductory document of one of Okiro's businesses, BHARMOSS VENTURES (NIG) LTD, tells of the IGP’s business interests. BHARMOSS advertises itself as a company engaged in construction, real estate acquisition and development as well as engineering works.
The document also states: “Our manpower profile parades a group of dynamic Nigerian professionals, technicians, administrators, consultants complimented by expatriates in various designations.” It continues: “We sell, improve, manage, develop, exchange, lease, mortgage, enfranchise, dispose of, turn of account, or otherwise deal with, all or any part of the property and rights of the company."
“The above description might make no sense to a business school graduate,” said one of our sources, a top police officer, “but it is actually part of a powerful conglomerate set up by Okiro to divert police funds.” Another source sketched out for our investigators how Mr. Okiro, a Catholic knight, exploits his position as the nation’s top law enforcement officer to illegally rake in a massive fortune.
Another source in Aso Rock told Saharareporters that Mr. Umaru Yar’adua is aware that Okiro’s ultimate income is far in excess of what security reports contain. “Okiro owns a web of businesses that few people outside of government circles know about,” said the source.
Saharareporters discovered that Okiro's top management staff at BHARMOSS VENTURES (NIG.) LTD is mostly drawn from his immediate family. The four directors of BHARMOSS are: Yvonne Okiro, Omolara Okiro, Samuel Okiro, and Innocent Okiro.
In a poorly written company statement obtained by our reporters, the members of the Okiro family claim that they are professionals in such fields as architecture, engineering, administration, and law. The statement goes ahead to give a short bio of each member of the board of directors starting with Yvonne, who graduated from the Ogun State University with an LLB degree in law and obtained an LLM in Environmental Law at the University of Scotland. She was called to the bar in 2002. The statement further claims that Yvonne, who holds the position of Company Secretary /Legal Adviser, “is versed and experienced in legal matters.”
Omolara Okiro is described as a 1993 graduate of Imo State University who holds a B.Sc degree in accounting from the same institution. Omo, as she is fondly called, is said to have some experience with the civil service before leaving to join the business world. The bio describes her as versed in business of property acquisition/ development, and building construction. She is said to have her foreign partners in the USSR, USA and Norway.
Innocent Okiro graduated from the University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt in 1990 with a B.Sc in Business Administration. He is reportedly versed in international business. He later joined as the pioneer chairman of BHARMOSS and is described as an astute businessman with interests in various areas.
The last director, Samuel Okiro, is a 1990 graduate of Universitatea Politechnica, Bucuresti, Romania in 1990 with a Masters in mechanical engineering. He is also reportedly versed in international / foreign business, with reported experience in Florida, China, and London. Samuel reportedly joined Bharmoss Ventures as a pioneer director and has interests in various fields.
One Dickson Ibikunle is named as the managing director of Okiro's BHARMOSS shell company. BHARMOSS was registered in October 1993 while Okiro was deputy commissioner of police in Lagos. In fact the registered address of his four kid-directors is 18, Ladejobi Street, Ikeja, Lagos, an address believed to be Okiro’s official residence when he worked as the deputy commissioner of police in charge of administration in the Lagos Police Command, Ikeja.
One of our sources pointed out that, by 1993, some of the so-called directors of BHARMOSS were barely older than 10 years old.
Our investigation indicated that BHARMOSS hardly embarked on any significant business development stated in its introduction paper until 30th November 2004 when it obtained a certified true copy of its registration certificate from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The CAC records show BHARMOSS with RC 232480 as its registration number. It is believed that BHARMOSS or its affiliates began getting huge contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) about this time. In 2005, the company paid a N1 million Oceanic Bank draft to the Federal Capital Development Authority for an unspecified transaction.
The company’s big break came in 2007 when it benefited from the revocation of a huge piece of land originally belonging to Cadbury Nigeria Limited within Utako (B05) area of Abuja. Okiro got the piece of land when Cadbury refused to develop the land within the grace period given it by the minister's office.
Within one year, Okiro, who coincidentally became the Inspector General of Police, was able to commence and complete a huge shopping mall on the site. The mall is located on Plot 21, Utako B05 in Abuja. The four-storey shopping plaza has three wings. It is believed to be home to over 1000 shopping units rented out in lucrative deals. Some of its customers are banks and high-end retailers.
A source told our correspondent that Okiro invested close to N1.5 billion to complete the shopping plaza.
A source close to Okiro’s business dealings told us that the IGP was rattled when a shopping mall under construction in the Jabi section of Abuja and linked to former Governor James Ibori collapsed recently, trapping more than 100 day laborers. “The same contractors built Okiro’s mall,” the source revealed.
Okiro is particularly close to Ibori. “Chief Ibori is the man who pushed President Yar’adua to appoint Okiro as IG even though Okiro was not the most senior officer in the hierarchy,” one of our sources stated.