Defendant’s absence stalls arraignment of NBC boss

Suspended Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Moddibo Kawu
Suspended Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Moddibo Kawu

The scheduled arraignment of the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Modibbo Kawu, was on Wednesday stalled due to the absence of one of the defendants, Dipo Onifade.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences (ICPC) is prosecuting Mr Onifade and the Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Limited, Lucky Omoluwa, alongside Mr Kawu for allegedly misappropriating N2.5 billion, a scandal that could slow down the nationwide rollout of the digital transmission of home television signals.

The anti-graft office is also prosecuting Pinnacle Communications Limited in the trial.

During the court session on Wednesday, the counsel representing the second and third defendants, Alex Iziyon, told the court that after standing down for an hour, Mr Onifade was still not present in court.

Mr Iziyon had earlier informed the court that his client, Mr Onifade, was on his way from Kaduna to attend the court proceedings.

“The second defendant still did not show up. I urge your lordship to please move the arraignment to May 2.

“I do not want to say tomorrow because I do not know what had happened to the second defendant who sent a text this morning that he was on his way from Kaduna.

“I would not mind signing an undertaking that he would show up on May 2.

The prosecution, Henry Emore, did not oppose Mr Iziyon’s prayer for adjournment.

Prior to this, the judge, Folashade Giwa, said, “Next time, tell him to come a day before.”

Mrs Giwa then adjourned to May 2 for arraignment.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The defendant that was absent in court is Dipo Onifade. That was corrected in the story.

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