• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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BusinessDay

NBC alleged N2.5bn fraud: Kawu, others move to stop Lai Mohammed’s appearance

Disquiet in advertising industry as NBC, Lai Mohammed sideline APCON in new broadcasting Code

The Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Limited, Lucky Omoluwa, has asked a Federal High Court, Abuja, to stop the former Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, from testifying in the ongoing  trial of an alleged misapplication of N2.5bn Federal Government Digital Switch-Over (DSO) programme.

Mohammed had been scheduled to appear as witness by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), who is prosecuting the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, Omoluwa and Dipo Onifade over an alleged abuse of office and money laundering.

He will be expected to tell the court his role leading to the approval of N2.5bn DSO seed grant to a private company, Pinnacle Communications Limited, owned by Omoluwa with Onifade as the Chief Operating Officer.

Counsel to Omoluwa and Onifade, Alex Iziyon (SAN), had approached Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa, with a motion seeking the court to stop ICPC from bringing Mohammed as a witness.

His prayers, which were supported by Kawu’s counsel, Adetayo Adeyomo, also sought to stop the court from admitting a written statement of the former Minister filed by ICPC as evidence.

Justice Ogunbanjo-Giwa adjourned the matter to Thursday, July 4, 2019, for continuation of trial as well as ruling on a pending bail application for the release of the passports of Omoluwa and Onifade.

ICPC had filed an amended 11-count charge against Kawu, Omoluwa and Onifade, saying that the NBC Director General misled the former Minister into approving government funds to a private company to carry out the DSO project.