ICPC arraigns NBC boss, others in alleged N2.5b fraud
A Federal High Court in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, yesterday granted bail to Director General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Ishaq Kawu Modibbo in an alleged N2.5 billion fraud.
It also granted bail to Chairman, Pinnacle Communications Limited, Lucky Omoluwa and Dipo Onifade, who are standing trial with Modibbo over alleged scam in Federal Government’s digital switchover project.
Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa granted the defendants bail after they pleaded not guilty to a 12-count charge preferred against them by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
Justice Ogunbanjo-Giwa, however, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N100 million each with two sureties each in like sum, while their sureties are expected to depose to an affidavit of means, as well as own property in Abuja.
She held that title deeds of the property must be verified and submitted to the court, adding that one of the sureties must be resident in the FCT, not less than level 17 in public service and must show evidence of tax payment in the last three years.
Also, the Judge ordered the defendants to deposit their international passports with the court’s registrar (litigation), while the sureties were ordered to submit two recent passport photographs.
It, however, gave the defendants 10 days to fulfill the bail conditions or risk being remanded in prison custody.
Counsel to Modibbo, Abdullahi Mustapha (SAN) urged the court to grant his client bail since there was a medical report showing that he (Modibbo) was having health challenge.
Although Modibbo was on administrative bail, Mustapha told the court that presumption of innocence was in favour of the applicant under sections 158, 159 and 162 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.
Objecting to the bail application, counsel to ICPC, Henry Emore, told the court that Modibbo jumped bail and did not honour invitation, but Mustapha denied the allegation and urged Emore to provide proof.
Counsel to Onifade and Omoluwa, who are second and third defendants, Alex Iziyon (SAN), moved the bail application for Omoluwa since the prosecution did not oppose Onifade’s.
Izinyon held that the issue was a bailable offence under the Constitution, ACJA and ICPC Acts.
On his part, Emore opposed the bail application on the ground that the applicant refused to honour his invitation since he was granted administrative bail and called for stringent bail terms that would compel defendants to attend trial.
But Izinyon insisted that the third defendant did not jump bail and demanded proof from the prosecution.
The matter was adjourned till today for continuation of trial.
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