The Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mallam Ishaq Moddibo Kawu, to appear before A Federal High Court, Abuja, to answer allegations concerning his involvement in the misappropriation of N2.5 billion seed grant for the Digital Switch-Over program of the federal government
Kawu, who was to be arraigned alongside the Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Limited, Lucky Omoluwa and Mr Dipo Onifade, the Chief Operating Officer respectively, over their alleged complicity in the mismanagement of the N2.5 billion seed grant failed to appear before Justice F. O. Giwa, claiming to be on admission at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Kwara State.
According to his counsel “He is on admission at the hospital at the moment. He had a major surgery 10 years ago and I have a medical report from the University of Ilorin showing why he cannot be here. I ask for adjournment pending when he will be well enough to attend court” A.U. Mustapha presented a medical certificate to the court to back his claims.
Henry Emore, counsel to ICPC while accepting the plea for adjournment draw the attention of the court to maximum number of times adjournment can be granted based on the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
Justice Giwa, in her ruling, while adjoining the matter to 17th April, 2019 for arraignment said “you must ensure that your client is in court even if he has to be on a stretcher. I am agreeing to this adjournment taking into cognizance his health issues, but the trial needs to go on, you must ensure he is in court next time.” by this ruling, Kawu is to appear before the court even if it warrants bringing him to the court on a stretcher.
The NBC boss, Isaq Modibo Kawu was accused of facilitating the payment of N2.5 billion federal government Digital Switch-Over funds to his friends and associates which was allegedly converted into personal use in contravention of Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
Kawu, Omoluwa and Onifade are facing 12-count charges bordering on abuse of office, money laundering and misleading a public officer with the intent to defraud the federal government.