After several unsuccessful attempts due to absence in court of the accused persons, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has finally arraigned the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Ishaq Kawu, over his alleged complicity in the misapplication of the N2.5 billion seed grant for Digital Switch-Over (DSO) programme of the federal government.
Ishaq Kawu, alongside the Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Limited, Mr. Lucky Omoluwa and the Chief Operating Officer of the same company, Mr. Dipo Onifade, were docked before Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The Commission, in a 12-count charge, accused them of abuse of office, money laundering and misleading a public officer with the intent to defraud the federal government, in contravention of Section 26 (1) (c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under Section 19 of the same law.
The charge reads in part; “That you, Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, Lucky Omoluwa and Dipo Onifade sometime between December 2016 and May 2017, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired with each other to use the position of Ishaq Kawu as Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission to confer corrupt advantage on Lucky Omoluwa, your friend and associate by recommending to the Minister of Information to approve payment of the sum of N2.5 billion to Pinnacle Communications Limited, a private company owned by Lucky Omoluwa as ‘Seed Grant’ under the Digital Switch-Over Programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria when you knew that the said company was not entitled to receive such grant and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 26 (1) (C) and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.” All the three accused persons pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.
Their counsel, A. U Mustapher, Alex Iziyon and A.V Etuwewe jointly prayed the court to grant them bail on liberal terms.