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ICPC probes NBC boss over alleged N2.5b digital switchover fraud

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Is’haq Modibo Kawu, director general, National Broadcasting Commission

• Commission arraigns NSCDC official in forged certificate scandal
Indepedent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has announced probing the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) over alleged misapplication of N2.5 billion meant for digital switchover.

Spokesperson to the commission, Rasheedat Okoduwa, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, said the commission has so far quizzed the NBC Director General, Dr. Ishaq Moddibbo Kawu, and other top management of the agency, to ascertain their level of involvements in the fraud.

She said the presidency had in 2016, released N10 billion to the Ministry of Information and Culture for the digital switchover programme, which entails migration of telephone lines from analogue to digital platforms.

She stressed that N1.7 billion was released to it as seed grant for the commencement of the switchover, adding that the ICPC through its investigation discovered that the process was fraught with the alleged corrupt practices.

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

According to her, the N2.5 billion was paid into the Zenith Bank account of Pinnacle Communications Limited in May/June, 2017 for the programme.

She added that, the DG and the Managing Director of Pinnacle, Mr. Dipo Onifade, during interrogation, confirmed movement of the funds, but could not justify the action.

ICPC found that N100 million of the fund was paid into the personal bank account of Onifade in Zenith Bank, which he claimed was for legal services that he had rendered to the same Pinnacle Communications.

Also investigations revealed that another N450 million was transferred into the account of Sabdat Investment Limited, a Bureau de Change, which then converted the money into dollars and handed it over to the Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Limited, Mr. Lucky Omoluwa, in his Kaduna residence as he usually did with other funds.

Meanwhile, the ICPC has arraigned one Hassan Abdullahi Manga, over alleged forged certificate. Manga, a Principal Inspector with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) was arraigned at Kebbi State High Court 3, in Birnin Kebbi.

The ICPC charged Manga, who is serving in the Niger State command, on a two-count charge bordering on the alleged forgery, presented a forged Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) Lower Credit, from Adamu Augie College of Education, Kebbi State, which he used to secure employment with the NSCDC in 2004.

The case has been adjourned till December 11 and 12, 2018 for hearing.


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