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N2.5bn Fraud: Appeal court dismisses no case submission filed by by suspended NBC boss

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THE Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja, on Monday dismissed an appeal filed by Ishaq Moddibbo Kawu, the suspended Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), challenging the decision of the Federal High Court, to dismiss the no-case submission he filed at the lower court.

This is contained in a statement emailed to The ICIR by  Azuka C. Ogugua spokesperson for the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on Monday.

According to the statement, Kawu, alongside Lucky Omoluwa (late Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Ltd) and Dipo Onifade, Chief Operating Officer of the same company, are currently facing criminal prosecution before Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa, by the ICPC for allegedly paying the sum of N2.5 billion seed grant for the Digital Switch-Over (DSO) project to Pinnacle Communications Limited.

The ICPC had in a 12-count charge, arraigned them for abuse of office, money laundering, and misleading a public officer with the intent to defraud the Federal Government, in contravention of Sections 26 (1) (c) and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

However, Kawu, through his counsel, A. U. Mustapha (SAN) filed a no-case submission in December 2019 at the close of the prosecution’s case, praying the court to discharge and acquaint him of the charge brought against him by ICPC.

Justice Ogunbanjo-Giwa while delivering her ruling in February 2020, held that ICPC had established a prima facie against Kawu, Onifade and Pinnacle Communications Limited, and ruled that they have a case to answer.

The suspended NBC boss and his co-accused then approached the appellate court to upturn the judgment of the Federal High Court.

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The Court of Appeal, Abuja, in its ruling, dismissed the no-case submission filed by Kawu and his co-accused and held that they had an explanation to give when he elected to facilitate the payment of N2.5 billion to a private company against the provisions of Section 13 of the government white paper guiding the operation of the Digital Switch-Over programme.

Vincent Ufuoma is a reporter with The ICIR. He is a lover of God, truth, knowledge and justice.

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