A civil society organization,Transparency Nigeria Group (TNG), has demanded the sack of the Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, for his indictment by the Pandora Papers Leak.
TNG has asked the Buhari administration to immediately dismiss Bello-Koko as a public servant for violating Nigeria’s Code of Conduct laws by failing to declare his assets abroad particularly the five London properties “anonymously acquired’’, using two companies — Coulwood Ltd and Marney Ltd.
“The head of the NPA cannot be an individual driven by avarice and filthy lucre. We ask President Buhari to act immediately and decisively,’’ TNG said.
Persecondnews had reported that by the expose of Pandora Papers, one of the properties was acquired in May 2017 after Bello-Koko took over at NPA prior to his appointment as Executive Director in charge of Finance and Administration in 2016.
The other four properties were acquired between 2009 and 2012, making Bello-Koko potentially exploit UK tax loopholes that allowed the owning of UK properties using so-called envelope structure, that is, anonymously owning properties through offshore companies.
Pandora Papers — an unprecedented leak of financial records — have revealed the offshore financial assets of dozens of current and former world leaders and hundreds of politicians from Asia and the Middle East to Latin America as well as Nigeria.
The reporters spent two years sifting through the leaked records, tracking down sources, and digging into court files and other public records from dozens of countries. It is the biggest collaboration of investigative journalists – from 117 countries and territories – in history.
The findings shed light on the previously hidden dealings of the elite and the corrupt, and how they have used offshore accounts to shield assets collectively worth trillions of dollars.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists obtained 11.9 million confidential documents from 14 separate legal and financial services firms, which the group said offered “a sweeping look at an industry that helps the world’s ultra-wealthy, powerful government officials and other elites conceal trillions of dollars from tax authorities, prosecutors and others.”
Moving money through offshore accounts, in mostly low-tax jurisdictions, is legal in most countries, and many of the people named in the data release aren’t accused of criminal wrongdoing.
But the journalist group said the 2.94 terabytes of financial and legal data — which makes this leak larger than the 2016 Panama papers release — shows the “offshore money machine operates in every corner of the planet, including the world’s largest democracies,” and involves some of the world’s most well-known banks and legal firms.
TNG said in a statement by Mr Dahiru Mohammed, the Communications Director that NPA as one of the most critical agencies in the country of critical importance to the security architecture should not be run by a corruption-tainted individual.
“The Nigerian Ports Authority is one of the most critical agencies in the country and a corruption-tainted individual cannot be allowed to hold sway of an institution that is of critical importance to the security architecture of the country.’’