Corruption: FG suspends NBC DG, Modibbo Kawu over Digital Switch-Over scam
ON Friday, the Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Modibbo Kawu has reportedly been suspended with immediate effect after months of investigation on corruption.
The DG, NBS alongside 32 other public officers/civil servants were been dragged by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) over corruption and intent to defraud the federal government.
The Commission had urged the federal government to suspend Kawu alongside Lucky Omoluwa and Dipo Onifade, the Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Pinnacle Communications Limited respectively for allegedly misappropriating N2.5 billion.
The request, as contained in a letter to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, demanded their suspension pending the conclusion of investigations into the allegations against him.
Premium Times had reported that sources from the office of the SGF and NBC (present director, Armstrong Idachaba) on Thursday had confirmed that the DG had received the letter of suspension pending the conclusion of his trial and may be reinstated if he is cleared of the allegation.
Kawu, Omoluwa and Onifade had since been under scrutiny over a 12-count charge bordering on corruption — alleged N2.5 billion fraud which had also involved the information minister, Lai Mohammed.
Mohammed was indicted for allegedly penning signatory to the payment of N2.5 billion to Pinnacle Communications Ltd owned by Omoluwa as “Seed Grant” under the Digital Switch-Over Programme of the federal government.
Mohammed, however, admitted that due diligence was not followed before signing off the controversial payment, leading to a charge by the ICPC on Kawu for allegedly ‘deceiving’ Mohammed to sign the deal.
When The ICIR reporter contacted the DG, he had only responded, “I can hear you, go on” and commented no further having listened to questions demanding he confirmed the reports of his suspension before he eventually disconnected the call. He refused to pick subsequent calls.
Meanwhile, Minister Lai Mohammed is asking for another $500 million to upgrade NTA to the level of CNN.
The minister made this request when he appeared before the senate committee on local and foreign loans.
The $500 million is part of the $30 billion loan President Muhammadu Buhari is asking the national assembly to approve.