By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA – The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Thursday urged the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, to go beyond the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Is’haq Kawu Modibbo and institute a system-wide investigation into the N2.5 billion NBC scandal, including alleged role possible played by Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed.
Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed and Former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar
The party in a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan said ICPC’s uncovering of fraud in the N2.5 billion NBC Digital Switch Over, DSO, contract has further exposed the inherent corruption in the Presidency and how officials and leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC), have been allegedly siphoning billions of naira from government agencies.
The statement read: “The party urges the ICPC to go beyond the N2.5 billon NBC fraud and investigate the allegations that Alhaji Lai Mohammed abused the privilege of his office by approving a letter from his office requesting the NBC, an agency under his supervision, to advance a loan of N13.1 million to his ministry for a purported official assignment in China.
“This further exposes how corruption has become endemic at the NBC under the direct supervision of the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who has not yet cleared his name on the N13.1 million NBC loan scandals since May 2016.
“The demand, which was against budgetary approvals, principle of Treasury Single Account, TSA, and the anti-corruption claims of the government he represents, has not been investigated and culprits prosecuted, even when it was clear that it corrupted the agency in converting it into a lending institution, against our financial regulations and the laws that established the NBC.”
The PDP further stated that the failure by the Buhari Presidency to investigate and if found answerable prosecute Alhaji Lai Mohammed “for this alleged act of manifest corruption shows how the Presidency has been concealing humongous corruption and sharp practices being perpetrated by APC leaders and cronies of Mr. President in the ministries, departments and agencies.”
The party argued that as spokesperson of a government which claims to be committed to the fight against corruption, Lai Mohammed “cannot, in all honesty, hold such a position with this allegation still hanging around his neck.”