Alleged N2.5bn fraud: Court adjourns trial of NBC DG to May 27

The Federal High Court Abuja, on Thursday, adjourned the trial of the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, (NBC), Ishaq Modibbo, until May 27 for continuation of trial.

Mr Modibbo is standing trial alongside Lucky Omoluwa, Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Ltd, and Dipo Onifade, the Chief Operating Officer of the company.

Messrs Modibbo, Omoluwa and Onifade were dragged to court along with the company by the ICPC on a 12-count charge bordering on fraud in the DSO project of the federal government.

They all entered a not guilty plea when the charge was read to them when they were arraigned.

The trial judge, Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo fixed the date after the prosecution called its fifth witness.

The witness, Adama Charles, who was led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Henry Emore, told the court that he was an investigator with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).

He said he met the defendants in the cause of investigating a petition relating to the Digital Switch Over, (DSO) project of the federal government.

“In the cause of investigation, we analysed some documents including bank statements and realised that N1.7 billion was paid to ITS with the description, “seed grant”, and N2.5 billion was paid to Pinnacle Communications Ltd as seed grant.”

Mr Charles also told the court that N100 million was paid from the N2.5 billion to Mr Onifade and another N27 million was later paid totaling N127 million, part of which was kept in a fixed deposit account.

Under cross examination by Alex Izinyon, SAN, the witness said during the course of investigation, his team saw that the approval for payment of the money was given by the Minister of Information and Culture.

He, however, added that the minister was misled into approving the payment.

The witness added that there had been no complaint from the minister to the ICPC saying he was misled into making the approval.

The matter was adjourned until May 27, June 3, 4, 26 and July 1 for continuation of trial.


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