DAN Okoro, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) epitomizes an average senior Scotland Yard Cop. Reputed to be avid in the discharge of his duties as an officer, Okoro made name as one of the heroes of 2012 for blowing the whistle and unearthing the mysteries behind the death of Cynthia Osokogu who was gruesomely murdered in a Hotel in Festac town, Lagos.
If ACP Okoro, like his colleagues fondly call him, had wanted to be cynical, he could have collected huge sums of money to cover-up the mess. But he chose to thread the patriotic path, an act that has brought him accolade and honour in Nigeria and outside the shores. He has more than two decades experience in the field of investigation police operation.
Okoro became a police officer by choice because of what he called his natural flair and love for the profession. His academic and professional pedigree is noteworthy. He is a graduate of the prestigious University of Lagos, Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso and the Imo State University, Owerri, where he earned a degree in Law (LLB), a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration, respectively.
Besides, the astute officer is also a Chartered Local Government and Public Administrator. Prior to his Bachelorâ€™s degree in Law, he had obtained a Diploma in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of Lagos.
After his enlistment and training as a Cadet Inspector, Okoro was sent to the Mobile Police Training School, Gwoza, Borno State for special training. He has also been privileged to undertake professional training courses outside Nigeria.
For instance, he was at the Prestigious Egyptian Police Academy and at the Israeli Intelligence Agency, Mossad, Israel for Intelligence and security training.
In the course of his peacekeeping mission in the former Yugoslavia Republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, he undertook courses in which he bagged two Diploma Certificates in Criminology and Human Rights from the United Nations (UN) in New York and became the UN Chief Human Rights Investigator in Bosnia during the peacekeeping mission in the Balkans.
In his bid to be abreast with contemporary policing and crime sophistication, especially in the area of cyber crime, Dan Okoro undertook a forensic course and training in cyber crimes and investigation.
He was also chosen by the United States government to attend a course on Small Arms, Drugs and Tobacco in the Republic of Botswana in which he was also one of the resource persons who delivered lectures at the place.
ACP Okoro has been privileged to hold several leadership positions at various times in the Nigeria Police. He was Officer in Charge Decoy and Anti-Robbery Squad, Area â€˜Hâ€™ Police Command, Ogudu, Lagos State.
He was officer in charge of Monitoring and Intelligence Unit, Airport Police Command, Lagos, Chairman Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) Offences cum Protocol Officer, Airport Police Command, officer in charge Monitoring Unit, Sea Ports Police Command, Lagos and officer in charge General Investigation and X-Squad, Anambra State Police Command, Awka.
He was also the Officer in charge of Monitoring and Intelligence Unit, Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja, Lagos, officer in charge of Inspector-Generalâ€™s Monitoring unit, Southern Zone, Lagos, officer in charge of Monitoring Unit, Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Nigeria Police, Ikoyi, Lagos and Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the Inspector General of Police Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar in Abuja before he was appointed the Area Commander, Area â€˜Eâ€™, Festac, Lagos where he superintends the affairs of over nine Divisional Police Headquarters.
Okoro has also held several command and administrative positions including United Nations Chief Human Rights Investigator, Bosnia, Staff officer, Force Secretary, Nigeria Police Force Headquarters, Lagos, Divisional Police officer (DPO) Tin Can Island Port, Lagos, DPO Kirikiri Lighter Terminal, Lagos and DPO Warri Port, Warri, Delta State.
Okoroâ€™s adroitness and sensitivity in dealing with difficult issues have earned him numerous accolades and honours from the admiring public, locally and internationally.
He clinched the IGP Coomasie Award for Brilliant Investigation and Courage years back; he received the award from Chairman National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) late Gen. Musa Bamaiyi for dedication and tact.
He was honoured for policing with courage from Aviation Services of Nigeria as well as an award for Intelligence from DASS Airline, Nigeria.
He was also honoured with invitation by the United States Government to attend and deliver lecture in the Republic of Botswana during an international course on Small Arms, Drugs and Tobacco.
In 1999, Okoro personally arrested late Corporate Fode Sanko, the leader of the rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF) of Sierra-Leone at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. During the civil war in Sierra Leone in the 1990s, Sanko was the man that presided over the mass killing and maiming of thousands of people in his country, including Nigerians. He had to be arrested because he was a high profile security risk at the time.
Okoro, in 1999, led a team that arrested a gang of robbers who invaded the Accounts Department of the National Aviation Handling Company of Nigeria (NAHCO) at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, and carted away over N15 million cash and vital documents.
In the same year, he also arrested criminals who stole from the Aircraft Conveyor Belt in the sum of $350,000 (three hundred and fifty thousand dollars) belonging to Cameroun Airlines.
As Chief Human Rights Investigator in Bosnia in 2000, ACP Okoroâ€™s activities resulted in rolling back lawlessness and impunity and in advancement of justice in cases of human rights abuses, for which the United Nations and the Bosnia authorities commended him.
In 2005, Okoro was the head of a police team that arrested fraudsters that stole a shipload of rice belonging to a transport company in the country.
The most recent of his landmark achievements is the arrest in August 2012, of Internet fraudsters who murdered one Cynthia Osokogu, a postgraduate student of Nasarawa State University and daughter of a retired Major General in the Nigerian Army. The suspects had met the deceased through the social network site, â€˜facebookâ€™, and lured her to a Lagos Hotel where she was drugged, gang-rapped, robbed and gruesomely murdered. Because of the sensitive nature of the crime, Okoro made himself the Investigative Police Officer (IPO) as he did not want the investigation to be compromised in any manner.
Until the suspects were arrested, the police did not realize that the deceased was the daughter of a retired General of the Nigerian Army, Frank Osokogu. Interestingly, Okoro rejected and resisted monetary offers to compromise the investigations as he saw the unraveling of the murder as a unique opportunity to enhance the public image of the Nigeria Police.
In his professional carrier so far, he has been privileged to work and build a bond of friendship with his superiors, especially the present IGP Abubakar, whom he described as his mentor and teacher in the Nigeria Police Force.