Tuesday, 16 April 2019

ICPC To Arraign National Broadcasting Commission's DG Over Alleged N2.5bn Fraud

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offenses Commission (ICPC) has said the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Ishaq Moddibbo Kawu, will be docked tomorrow over  alleged complicity in the misapplication of the N2.5 billion seed grant for Digital Switch-Over (DSO) programme.

A statement yesterday from ICPC spokesperson Rasheedat Okoduwa said Kawu, alongside the Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Limited, Lucky Omoluwa and the Chief Operating Officer of the same company, Dipo Onifade, will be arraigned before Justice F. O. Giwa of the Federal High Court Abuja.

Okoduwa said the trio are facing a 12-count charge bordering on abuse of office, money laundering and misleading a public officer with the intent to defraud the federal government, in contravention of Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

The Presidency had in 2016, released N10 billion to the Ministry of Information and Culture for the DSO programme and a White Paper was issued directing how the process should be executed.

Based on the guidelines provided by the White Paper, two companies were nominated to handle the process, one of which was ITS, an affiliate of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) which got  N1.7 billion as seed grant for the commencement of the switch-over.

The ICPC spokesperson said it was alleged that Kawu fraudulently recommended Pinnacle Communications Limited, a private company, to the Minister of Information and Culture, for the release of N2.5 billion against the guidelines contained in the White Paper.

She said, as a result, the Commission filed charges against him and his accomplices and secured March  12 for their arraignment.

She noted that the NBC boss, however, failed to appear in court citing ill-health.

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