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Investigators Write UK, Seek Visa Cancellation, Forfeiture Of Assets For Nigerian Ports Authority MD Koko, Wife Over Alleged Corruption

Investigators Write UK, Seek Visa Cancellation, Forfeiture Of Assets For Nigerian Ports Authority MD Koko, Wife Over Alleged Corruption
December 21, 2022

The investigations unearthed alleged criminal acts against Koko bordering on money laundering activities, fraud, forgery, tax evasion and extortion.

Some foreign Investigators have written to the United Kingdom government, seeking the outright and immediate cancellation of the visas issued to the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko, his wife, Agatha Koko and members of his family over alleged corruption cases, money laundering and fraud.

The investigators are also seeking an exclusion order which will ban the NPA boss and his family from ever accessing and entering the UK and its territories.

In a letter to the Home Office Secretary, 2 Marsham Street London SW1 4DF, the Rt. Hon. Suella Braverman, the investigators sought the total confiscation and forfeiture of property allegedly obtained by Koko through questionable means.

The investigations unearthed alleged criminal acts against Koko bordering on money laundering activities, fraud, forgery, tax evasion and extortion.

In the letter signed by Michael O' Leary for UK/ Ireland Investigators, they noted that as a banker with Zenith Bank Nigeria Plc, and account officer to Rivers State Government, the NPA boss stole billions of Naira in a systemic money laundering scheme in connivance with officials of the Rivers State government in Nigeria.

Their findings say, "On 6 November 2015, Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko bought a property in London worth £1,750,000.00 (One million, seven hundred and fifty thousand pounds only).

"This property is located at 2a Beech Hill Barnet EN4 OJP with Title Number NGL399845 with co-ownership: with -Agatha Koko. Deed attached

"This property was bought with stolen funds laundered to the United Kingdom from Nigeria."

Furthermore, the investigators revealed that as “Managing Director of Nigeria Ports Authority, a high revenue earner for Nigeria after crude oil, Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko has looted the agency through several awards of fictitious contracts and money laundering schemes.

"Mr. Bello-Koko is operating the following accounts in contravention of the Nigeria Single Treasury Account policy. These accounts are used to receive millions of dollars annually and looted under his leadership.

“Fidelity bank, Correspondent bank, Citibank n.a 111 Wall Street.

“New York, New York 10043

“Aba code: 021000089; Swift code: CITIUS33

“Beneficiary bank: Fidelity bank plc

“USD account no: 3611-5264

“Swift code: FIDTNGLA

“Account name: NPA service boat revenue collections A/c account number: 5250108491 (dollar current account)

Zenith bank; Correspondent bank

Citibank n.a

Canada square, Canada wharf London €145LB

Sort code: 18-50-08

Swift address: citigb2l

"Iban code: GB80CITI8S00810407941 account name: Zenith Bank Plc Zenith Bank Swift Code: Zeibngla Funds For Further Credit To Beneficiary: Npa service boat revenue collection a/c

Beneficiary account number: 5070611581 (USD).

"We are therefore writing to the Rt. Hon. Home Office Secretary to use her powers to issue an Exclusion Decision on Mohammed Bello-Koko and family from the United Kingdom and its Territories. We cite from The Home Office “Exclusion from the U.K booklet version 1.0 page 12 under corruption.

"The types of activities associated with corruption include, but are not limited to the following: Tax evasion, Money laundering, Bribery and accepting kickbacks Extortion, Asset stealing, Fraud, Match fixing in sport.”

While hinging its argument that "A person does not need to have been convicted of a certain corruption-related offence in order to be excluded. Where there is substantive reliable information that a person has been involved in corruption this should be taken into account."

While reminding Madam Secretary of past prosecution of the likes of former Delta state governor, James Ibori, Dan Etete, Andy Uba amongst others, the Investigators insisted that "this Exclusion Decision be invoked on the person requested".

The Investigators also applied for a forfeiture order on a property allegedly owned by the NPA boss located at 2a Beech Hill, Barnet, EN4 OJP to avoid it being sold.

Recently, an investigative report released by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission found Koko guilty of being involved in N829 million fraud through kickbacks and money laundering activities.

The EFCC probe report exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters in April revealed that Koko after being investigated was found to have received N829 million from NPA contractors, and in cash sums from individuals and companies.

The EFCC carried out financial profiling of Koko in August 2021 and found out that the NPA MD worked with an associate, Ali Amin Abubakar and had benefitted from awards of contracts totalling N1,107,654,133 from the Rivers State Government and others,” it read.

At the time the report was done, Koko was the acting Managing Director of the NPA. Following the suspension of Hadiza Bala Usman as the Managing Director of NPA by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Presidency announced Koko as her replacement in an acting capacity.

Koko was previously the director of finance and administration at NPA. Buhari in February 2022 confirmed Koko as the substantive managing director of the NPA.

“Consequently, the foregoing strongly infers the subject’s and associates’ complicity in acts of abuse of office, misappropriation of public funds, fraud and money laundering,” the EFCC report said.

In the introduction section, the EFCC probe report said, “The Directorate received information that the acting NPA MD, Koko was involved in receiving kickbacks from NPA contractors and was involved in money laundering activities. Mohammed Koko is the current MD of the NPA.

“From 2005 to 2015, he worked at the Zenith Bank PLC in Port Harcourt, where he rose to the position of Assistant General Manager before being appointed as the NPA’s Executive Director, Finance and Administration.”

“During the term of former Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, he was also the designated Zenith Bank account officer for the Rivers State Government. According to reports, Mohammed Koko was brought before a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt by the EFCC in 2009 together with three other top officials of Zenith Bank on charges of fraud totalling N3.6 billion,” the probe report further revealed.

The report noted that his financial profile showed that he had several accounts in five banks.

The EFCC went on to analyse Koko’s bank accounts and the amounts of money in inflow and outflow which all confirmed the alleged fraudulent acts of the NPA boss.