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Alleged N2.5bn fraud: Court adjourns trial of NBC DG to May 27

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The Federal High Court Abuja, on Thursday, adjourned the trial of the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, (NBC), Ishaq Modibbo, until May 27 for continuation of trial.

Mr Modibbo is standing trial alongside Lucky Omoluwa, Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Ltd, and Dipo Onifade, the Chief Operating Officer of the company.

Messrs Modibbo, Omoluwa and Onifade were dragged to court along with the company by the ICPC on a 12-count charge bordering on fraud in the DSO project of the federal government.

They all entered a not guilty plea when the charge was read to them when they were arraigned.

The trial judge, Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo fixed the date after the prosecution called its fifth witness.

The witness, Adama Charles, who was led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Henry Emore, told the court that he was an investigator with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).

He said he met the defendants in the cause of investigating a petition relating to the Digital Switch Over, (DSO) project of the federal government.

“In the cause of investigation, we analysed some documents including bank statements and realised that N1.7 billion was paid to ITS with the description, “seed grant”, and N2.5 billion was paid to Pinnacle Communications Ltd as seed grant.”

Mr Charles also told the court that N100 million was paid from the N2.5 billion to Mr Onifade and another N27 million was later paid totaling N127 million, part of which was kept in a fixed deposit account.

Under cross examination by Alex Izinyon, SAN, the witness said during the course of investigation, his team saw that the approval for payment of the money was given by the Minister of Information and Culture.

He, however, added that the minister was misled into approving the payment.

The witness added that there had been no complaint from the minister to the ICPC saying he was misled into making the approval.

The matter was adjourned until May 27, June 3, 4, 26 and July 1 for continuation of trial.

(NAN)

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Zamfara polls: Jubilation as Supreme Court nullifies APC candidates’ elections, declares PDP winner

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The Supreme Court on Friday nullified the elections of all the candidates of the All Progressives Congress in Zamfara State in the 2019 general elections.

Delivering a unanimous judgment of the five-man panel led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, the apex court declared the first runners-up in the 2019 general elections in the state as the winners of all the posts earlier declared to have been won by the APC and its candidates.

Justice Paul Galinje, who read the lead judgment upheld the decision of the Sokoto Division of the Court of Appeal to the effect that the APC did not conduct any valid primary election and as such had no candidate for any of the elections in the state.

He described the votes polled by the APC candidates in the elections as wasted, adding that the party and the candidates with the second highest votes and the spread in the various elections were the valid winners.

The judgment centres on the governorship, state House of Assembly and the National Assembly elections conducted in Zamfara State on February 23 and March 11, 2019.

APC candidates, including the outgoing governor of the Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, who was elected to the Senate, had won most of the offices contested for in the 2019 elections with the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidates, placing first runners-up in the polls.

Source: PUNCH

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Reps demand forensic audit of $3.2bn NNPC pipeline project

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The House of Representatives has called for forensic audit of three pipeline projects worth $3.288billion.

The House Committee on gas resources that investigated the contract for the upgrade of OML 58 Upgrade 1; execution of Obite-Ubeta-Rumuji (OUR) pipeline; and the Northern Option Pipeline Projects recommended forensic investigation into the projects.

The committee chaired by Fred Agbedi (PDP, Bayelsa) called for forensic investigative audit into the cost overrun emanating from all change orders, including USD 2.2 billion on OML 58 Upgrade 1, USD560 million on OUR Pipeline and USD 528 million on NOPL Pipeline Projects.

The committee admitted difficulty in establishing the true cost, claiming that all the parties involved in the contract gave contradictory figures.

The committee called for “thorough investigation of the professional and/or personal relationship between NNPC/NAPIMS Management and TEPNG on the one hand and TEPNG and local contractors on the other hand in relation to this project to establish claims by parties and ensure fairness of purpose.”

The House also resolved to recover the sum of US592million from TEPNG in line with recommendations of Tabor VFM Audit Report; and that all ‘contracts awarded in this sector should be subjected to Value for Money Audit.”

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BREAKING: Police Council confirms Adamu Mohammed as IGP

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Mohammed

The National Council of State and National Police Council has approved the appointment of the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Adamu Mohammed as the new IG of the Nigeria Police Force.

Adamu was confirmed at the police council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday.

Musiliu Smith, chairman of the police service commission, and governors of the 36 states were part of the meeting.

Mohammed was appointed in the acting capacity on January 15, 2019 following the retirement of former IGP, Ibrahim Idris.

More details later

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