The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission ICPC witness on Thursday exposed how the sum of N2.5billion naira allegedly released to one Pinnacle Communications for Digital Switch-Over(DSO) was shared to private individuals for personal use.
According to the statement released by ICPC, a Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday, heard that the N2.5 billion illegally released to Pinnacle Communications Limited as seed grant for the Digital Switch-Over (DSO) programme by the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Ishaq Moddibo Kawu, was shared to charity organisations including family members and friends by the Chairman of the company, Lucky Omoluwa.
The ICPC witness, one Charles Adama, who testified before Justice Folashade Ogunbajo-Giwa, in the ongoing trial of Kawu and two others over the N2.5 billion Digital Switch-Over fraud, brought against them by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), told the court that politicians, churches, and a golf club were also beneficiaries of the jamboree by Omoluwa.
ICPC witness said, “The N2.5 billion was shared to individuals, friends and family members by Omoluwa who is the sole signatory to the account of the company. The money was also given to gulf club, churches and top politicians and other charities.”
Adama further informed the court that the Chief Operating Officer of the company, Dipo Onifade, who is also standing trial over allegation of fraud, received N127 million as payment for legal services to a private firm, Dipo Onifade and Co. He added that Onifade who fixed N100 million of the said sum in a fixed deposit account could not provide any evidence of tax payment.
The ICPC witness, led by Counsel to ICPC, Henry Emore, also told the court that N1.5 billion was fixed in the bank by Omoluwa for three months, which yielded N134 million interest.
Adama informed the court that findings on the illegal payment of the N2.5 billion seed grant to Omoluwa’s company came about as a result of a petition against Integrated Television Services (ITS) when cross-examined by Counsel to Kawu, A. S Moyosho.
Justice Ogunbanjo-Giwa adjourned the matter to 27th May, 3rd, 4th, 26th of June and 4th July for accelerated trial.