By Taiwo Adebowale
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has charged 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.
The PDP, in a statement signed and delivered to the Atlantic Post in Abuja on Thursday, January 24 by Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, its National Publicity Secretary, particularly demanded an open investigation into the alleged roles possibly played by certain top officials of the Buhari Presidency, including the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, around the matter.
The party said ICPC’s uncovering of fraud in the N2.5billion NBC Digital Switch Over (DSO) contract has further exposed the inherent corruption in the Buhari Presidency and how Presidency officials and leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been siphoning billions of naira from government agencies.
According to PDP: “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 scandal since May 2016.
“The party therefore 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.
“The demand, which was against budgetary approvals, principle of 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 insists 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 Buhari 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.
“Alhaji Lai Mohammed is a spokesperson of the Buhari administration, which claims to be committed to the fight against corruption. He cannot, in all honesty, hold such a position with this allegation still hanging around his neck.
“This is more so as allegations are rife in the public space that agencies in the Ministry of Information and Culture now reek of corrupt and sharp practices in the last three years.”