By Mumini AbdulKareem
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has vowed that it will pursue the trial of former Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mallam Ishaq Modibbo Kawu to logical conclusion despite the death of the co-accused.
Following the death of the chairman of Pinnacle communications, Lucky Omoluwa who was in trial alongside Kawu, there have been concerns especially in Kwara on what will be the fate of the embattled former NBC boss who is also a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
President Muhammadu Buhari last month after months of investigation by the anti-graft commission succumbed to pressure and suspended Kawu from office over his role in the N2.5 billion digital switchover contract.
Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, a fellow APC member who is also from Kwara has been listed by the ICPC as witness to testify against Kawu in the case.
But speaking on the issue last night, ICPC in an exclusive telephone conversation with this reporter vowed that the death of the Pinnacle boss will not kill Kawu’s case being handled by the commission adding there is no pressure from any quarter to drop the prosecution.
The anti-graft Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, said “Any issue that the commission has started, investigation will be carried through and we will follow it to the latter. That I can assure you.
“The death of the pinnacle boss will not kill the case of the former NBC DG, what will happen is that the charge(s) will be amended to reflect the new reality. And on this case, it will depend on what charges were initially preferred against when the Pinnacle boss was alive. So what will likely happen is for our lawyers to approach the court to amend the charges to reflect the new reality. Depending on the charges that were initially preferred against him, we might even decide to go ahead with what we have against him if we feel the latest development does not really affect how the charges against him had been crafted.
“This will determine whether we will need major alteration to the existing one or even whether we might not need to amend his (Modibbo’s) case depending on the previous charges against him.
“But the death of pinnacle boss will not mean end to the prosecution of the former NBC Director-General or serve as a reason for the case to be killed.
“Once, we have started a case, we follow it up to the latter and this will not be an exception. I can assure that we are not under any pressure to drop or bakeoff the case in the light of the latest development”, Okoduwa noted.
Kawu’s co-accused, Omoluwa died at the National Hospital, Abuja last month. His death comes amidst the commencement of trial in a corruption case involving his company, himself, and Modibbo Kawu.
Sources noted that he slumped in the morning and later passed on at the hospital, which has not yet issued a statement on the development.