Alleged N2.5bn Fraud: ICPC opens up on Modibbo’s fate

…co-accused, Lucky Omoluwa slumps, dies

…as Co-accused, Pinnacle chair slumps, dies

*APC, Kwarans condemn, mock ex-NBC boss

By Mumini AbdulKareem

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) last night spoke on the next line of action regarding the ongoing trial of embattled Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) boss, Mallam Ishaq Modibbo Kawu.

President Muhammadu Buhari last week following months of investigation by the anti-graft succumbed to pressure and suspended Kawu from office over his role in the N2.5 billion switchover contract.

Following the death of his co-accused and chairman of Pinnacle communications, Lucky Omoluwa, there have been concerns especially in Kwara on what will be the fate of the embattled NBC boss who is also a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

But ICPC in an exclusive telephone conversation with National Pilot last night opened up on how the death of the billionaire businessman will impact on the trial going forward.

According to the anti-graft Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, the ICPC will have to revert to its legal department for its next move on the case.

“On how the death of the pinnacle boss will impact the ongoing case, you know I am not a lawyer and so we have to meet with our legal team for input on what next with the latest situation.

“It is after we have done that before we can be able to really say what will be our next move. But for now, we have to wait and get informed brief from our legal team”, Okoduwa submitted.

Meanwhile, the former NBC DG has come under scathing criticisms over his suspension by Mr President for alleged fraudulent practices while in office.

A twitter handle, “APC West Africa”, condemned Kawu over the issue as the NBC boss despite ascribing sainthood to himself while in office.

The tweet from the APC handle expressed sadness over Kawu’s “disgraceful exit from the NBC” and expressed optimism him being on his way to prison over his fraud battle with ICPC.

The tweets also accused Kawu of allegedly embezzling N2.5Billion from government coffers in less than two years in office.

Excerpt from the tweet which was accessed last night reads “Sad to hear that @modibbo_kawu, former NBC DG … is on his way to prison for stealing N2.5b in less than 4 years of being in power… #OtogeForHim”

Other reaction from Kwarans to the APC tweet reads:

“In all honesty nothing is fine in his thievery, I wonder how people sleep at night after slandering innocent target and at the same time engages in such act they are preaching against. May @modibbo_kawu and his like be caught one by one @SidiqBola:

“Indeed, the dude called Lanre @modibbo_kawu, is worse than the people he exerted all energies to blackmail and criticize. Meanwhile, the professional blackmailer wasn’t even blackmailed, rather, he obviously stole Nigeria’s 2.5 billion. Haba! #OtogeForHim” – Bashir Akanbi.

“So sad, no one is to be trusted again” – Tunji Idris, “He lied against someone just because of post now it has come to him” – Adio Abdullateef, “he who joins hands to cook soup of conspiracy may not eat from when it is ready. This is a well deserved reward for Modibbo” – Mohammed Saliu. However a twitter user, Abdulkadir Babatunde believed to be a fan of the former NBC boss defended Kawu adding “Some of (our) parents will do worst if they have same opportunity”.

Efforts to reach Kawu last night were not successful after several telephone calls.

But he had recently denied allegation levelled against him by some of his accusers.

Recall that he had also been accused by a civil rights movement under the aegis of Coalition Against Corruption and Bad Governance (CACOBAG) of allegedly approving six of the radio slots to his private company, Word, Sound and Vision Multimedia (WSV) Limited and another 10 approved for companies which neither applied nor appeared on the list approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Chairman of CACOBAG, Alhaji Toyin Raheem, in a statement issued in Abuja, demanded that the Federal Government direct anti-graft agencies, including EFCC and ICPC to investigate the allegation.

But Modibbo in a comprehensive e-mail response on the issue to this reporter exonerated himself from any wrongdoing even as he detailed the genesis of his travail.

According to him, the NBC does not have power to influence who is either denied or granted radio licenses but the sole prerogative of Mr President.


…co-accused, Lucky Omoluwa slumps, dies

A co-accused of the suspended Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Ishaq Kawu Modibbo in the N2.5bm alleged fraud, Lucky Omoluwa who was the chairman of Pinnacle Communications Limited has died.

The incident was reported by online news medium, Premium Times on Tuesday quoting family sources and associates. He died at the National Hospital, Abuja.

His death comes amidst the commencement of trial in a corruption case involving his company, himself, and Modibbo Kawu.

Mr Omoluwa, a golfer and top philanthropist, was accused by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission of digital switchover fraud to the tune of N2.5 billion.

The alleged collaborators used Pinnacle Communications, a broadcast engineering firm run by Mr Omoluwa, to carry out the suspicious transactions.

Multiple sources, the report noted, said Mr Omoluwa slumped on Tuesday morning and later passed on at the hospital, which has not yet issued a statement on the development.

Rasheeda Okoduwa, a spokesperson for ICPC, did not immediately return a request seeking comments about the potential impact of Mr Omoluwa’s passing on the ongoing trial.

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