Lai Mohammed to appear in court over N2.5 billion NBC ‘fraud’ case
The immediate past Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has been scheduled to appear before a Federal High Court, Abuja, to explain his role in the alleged misapplication of N2.5 billion federal government’s Digital Switch-Over (DSO) programme.
The planned appearance of Mohammed was revealed by the Independent Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), which is prosecuting the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, over an alleged abuse of office and money laundering.
ICPC had filed a 12-count charge before Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa, against Kawu, Lucky Omoluwa and Dipo Onifade and others, saying that the NBC director general misled the former minister into approving government funds to a private company.
“The former minister’s involvement had come under questioning following discovery by ICPC during investigations, that a government White Paper that governs the execution of the DSO programme was allegedly flouted by the head of NBC”, ICPC said in a statement yesterday. “Mohammed had however admitted in a statement to the commission that he was misled by Kawu, as opined in court by a witness from ICPC, Osanato Olugbemi.”
Olugbemi, led in evidence by counsel to ICPC, Henry Emore, also told the court that the payment of N2.5 billion from NBC to Pinnacle Communications Limited, as seed grant was suspicious because ICPC found out through its investigations that only government-owned company was approved to benefit from the grant, according to the White Paper.