The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for the immediate prosecution of the former Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, over his alleged role in the reported National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) N2.5 billion fraud.
The opposition party, similarly asked President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to without delay prosecute the sacked executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Professor Usman Yusuf, over allegations of misappropriation of N919 million as exposed by a ministerial panel.
According to the party, the duo must not be let off the hook because of their affiliation with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Presidency.
PDP’s call for the prosecution of Mohammed, who once published names of Nigerians who allegedly looted public funds, followed the recent revelation by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), of the role the former minister supposedly played in N2.5 billion alleged fraud.
The ICPC had indicated in a press release that Mohammed admitted in a statement to it, that he was “misled” by the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Modibbo Kawu, already docked, into approving the payment of the N2.5 billion to a private company.
The ICPC had said in a statement recently, “The former minister’s involvement had come under questioning following discovery by the ICPC, during investigations, that a government White Paper that governs the execution of DSO programme was allegedly flouted by the head of the NBC.
“Mohammed had however admitted in a statement to the commission that he was misled by Kawu…”
The PDP therefore, in a statement by its national spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan Tuesday night, argued that “since the ICPC holds that the former minister’s involvement had come under questioning, he should be made to explain himself in the dock, not as a witness but as a defendant in the matter.”
The party added, “This is a former minister who was in a haste to publish names of innocent Nigerians as looters just because they are members of the PDP, while a humongous fraud simmered under his nose.
“Furthermore, the PDP states that the dismissal of the NHIS boss has also vindicated its position that billions of naira belonging to the Scheme and meant for the health needs of Nigerians was being frittered.”
According to the party, Yusuf must be prosecuted in order to track and recover the over N25 billion allegedly siphoned from the account of the Scheme in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) to service APC interests.
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