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ICPC re-arraigns suspended NBC DG for alleged N2.5bn fraud



The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on Wednesday re-arraigned the suspended Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Ishaq Modibbo- Kawu, at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The commission arraigned Modibbo-Kawu on a five-count charge of fraud and abuse of office.

The suspended NBC chief was arraigned by the ICPC for recommending to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, to approve payment of N2.5 billion to Pinnacle Communications Limited, a private company as “Seed Grant” under the Digital Switch-Over Programme of the Federal Government.

He was re-arraigned alongside one Dipo Onifade and Pinnacle Communications Limited due to an amendment to the earlier 12-count charge preferred against them.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr. Henry Emore said the amendment followed a directive from the court to remove the name of one of the defendants, Mr. Lucky Omoluwa, who died last year.

When the charge was read to the two defendants, they pleaded not guilty.

A no-guilty plea was also entered for Pinnacle Communications.

The prosecutor informed the court that besides the re-arraignment, the defendants were supposed to open their defence.

READ ALSO: N2.5bn Fraud: NBC DG Kawu granted N100m bail

The counsel to Modibbo-Kawu, Mr. Adetayo Adeyemo, however, told the court that his client had filed an application for a stay of proceedings in view of the court’s ruling on his no-case submission.

He said that his client had filed an appeal on the ruling which was currently pending at the Court of Appeal.

Also, the counsel to Pinnacle, Mr. Abayomi Oyelola, told the court that he had filed a similar application on same matter.

Similarly, the counsel to Onifade, Mr. Alex Iziyon, told the court that his client had filed an application challenging the provisions of Section 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, (ACJA).

The prosecutor, who acknowledged that he had received all the applications filed by the defendants, said he intended to oppose all of them.

He told the court that he needed at least two weeks to reply to the matter.

Justice Folasade Giwa-Ogunbanjo adjourned the matter until September 28, saying the court would commence its annual vacation on July 13.

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