The Federal High Court, Abuja, has fixed March 12 for the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to arraign the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, over alleged N2.5 billion fraud charge.
Kawu was charged by the federal government alongside the Managing Director of Pinnacle Communications, Dipo Onifade, Founder and Chairman Board of Directors of Pinnacle, Lucky Omoluwa and Pinnacle Communications Ltd on January 21.
When the matter was called, the ICPC Counsel, Henry Emore, made an oral application to withdraw the earlier charge filed on January 21.
Mr Emore informed the court that he was substituting the charge dated January 21, with another one dated February 21 because the first charge contained noticeable errors.
Alex Izinyon (SAN), who announced appearance for Messrs Onifade, Omoluwa and Pinnacle did not oppose the application to withdraw the first charge.
Consequently, the judge, Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo struck out the charge dated January 21 and replaced it with the one dated February 21.
The court also granted an order of substituted service against the NBC boss.
The court ordered that the charge and summons be pasted on the last known address of Mr Kawu.
The court further directed the prosecuting counsel to effect service of the charge on Onifade, Omoluwa and Pinnacle, within 48 hours, since Mr Izinyon had accepted to receive the charge sheet on their behalf.
Mrs Giwa-Ogunbanjo adjourned the matter until March 12 for arraignment of the accused persons.
The fresh charges read in part: “That you, Is’haq Modibbo, Lucky Omonuwa and Dipo Onifade sometime between Dec. 2016 and May 2017 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Court, conspired with each other to use the position of Modibbo as the Director-General of NBC to confer corrupt advantage on Omonuwa, your friend and associate by recommending to the Minister of Information and Culture to approve payment of N2.5 billion to Pinnacle Communications Limited.
“A private company owned by Omonuwa as seed grant under the DSO of the Federal Government of Nigeria when you knew that the said company was not entitled to receive such grant and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 26(1) (c ) and punishable under Section 19 of the ICPC Act, 2000.