…keeps mum over allegation
By Mumini AbdulKareem
Information Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has been using top Presidency officials to have the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, discontinue the investigation of a N2.5billion fraud rocking the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, an online medium has reported.
But the minister and his aide, Williams Adeleye, who doubles as Special Adviser to the President, kept sealed lips over the report as they did not respond to our reporter’s calls, last night.
They were also yet to respond to text messages sent to them on the issue last night.
The text message read: “Sir, we need your reaction to the report on Pointblank online news medium that you (Minister of Information) is begging the presidency to stop the ICPC probe on the alleged N2.5bn NBC fraud by Kawu Modibbo supervised by your ministry”.
According to the report published by the online news medium, Pointblank.com, retrieved on Saturday, Mohammed whose Ministry supervises the NBC was linked to the fraud as officials of the ICPC traced part payment of the N2.5billion Digital Switch Over money to his personal account.
Quoting top sources, the newspaper reported that since the ICPC started investigating the fraudulent deal, the Information Minister who is directly linked to the scam alongside the Director General of NBC, Kawu Modibbo, have been piling pressure on the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari,to halt the probe.
“Yes I can confirm that while over N1billion was traced to the account of the Minister and some of his relatives, we have received several calls from some persons asking us to halt the probe,” the paper said an official of the ICPC confided in it.
The paper said according to the ICPC official, Mohammed used his account and that of his relations to deposit part of the N2.5billion adding that “his relations have been invited for questioning and they would be charged to court,” the ICPC source hinted.
It will be recalled that the Federal Government of Nigeria in January 2019, filed charges against NBC DG, Kawu Modibbo for fraud.
The ICPC official also disclosed that Lai Mohammed is currently using every possible means to evade arrest besides using Presidency officials to halt the probe.