EXCLUSIVE: Head of Nigeria’s broadcast regulator, NBC, in fresh corruption probe

Director General of NBC, Ishaq Modibbo Kawu
The Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Ishaq Kawu. [Photo credit: THISDAYLIVE]

The embattled head of Nigeria’s broadcast regulator, NBC, is being investigated on fresh allegations of corruption, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.

The anti-graft agency, ICPC, on Thursday, questioned Modibbo Kawu the Director-General of National Broadcasting Commission, for his alleged roles in the scandal.

Sources at the ICPC told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr Kawu was at the commission for over five hours from about 10 a.m. during which period he was questioned by investigators.

One source said Mr Kawu is being investigated for allegedly giving broadcast licenses to a company he has interest in.

Mr Kawu was eventually granted bail after the questioning.

“He claimed he did no wrong by awarding his company multiple licenses,” a source at the commission said. “He has been told to report back on Monday the 15th.”

When contacted, the ICPC spokesperson, Raheedat Okoduwa, on Friday, confirmed the new development to PREMIUM TIMES.

She said the NBC boss was invited for questioning and was released on administrative bail.

Mrs Okoduwa said the ICPC “is investigating something else different from his ongoing trial in court.”

She declined to disclose the subject of the allegation.

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”I can confirm he was here yesterday (Thursday) and he was asked to come back on Monday, she said. “But he was invited on something different from what is in court. I am not at liberty to tell you the subject of the investigation.”

Backstory

The agency in February filed a 12-count charge before Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa, against Mr Kawu, Lucky Omoluwa and Dipo Onifade, the Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Pinnacle Communications Limited respectively, for allegedly misappropriating N2.5 billion.

The allegations also roped in a former information minister, Lai Mohammed.

Mr Mohammed had admitted in a PREMIUM TIMES exclusive in April that he did not follow due diligence before signing off on a controversial N2.5 billion payment to a private digital broadcast signal distributor.

The ICPC charged Mr Kawu for allegedly ‘deceiving’ Mr Mohammed to sign the deal.

The ICPC also said Mr Mohammed would only appear as a witness, effectively excluding him from the alleged crime.

Mr Kawu appeared before the Federal High Court, Abuja in May. He was granted bail by the judge.

Efforts to reach Mr Kawu on Friday were unsuccessful.

He did not respond to calls and text messages sent to his known telephone numbers.

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