Alleged N2.5bn fraud at NBC: Witness tells court how money was shared by defendants, judge adjourns case till June 26, calls for more witnesses
At the continuing trial of the Director General of National Broadcasting Commission, Ishaq Modibbo and three others, a prosecution witness Mr. Remigius Ugwu, a Compliance Officer with Zenith Bank Plc, told the court in his testimony how money were transferred from Pinnacle Commissions account to Mr. Dipo Onifade, one of the defendants in the case, and many other people.
Kawu was arraigned along with the Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Limited, Mr Lucky Omoluwa, and the Chief Operating Officer of the company, Mr Dipo Onifade, on allegation of misapplication of N2.5bn seed grant for ‘Digital Switch-over programme’ of the Federal Government
Ealier in his testimony, Mr. Ugwu also confirmed to the court that Pinnacle Communication Ltd has an account with them. Led by the ICPC prosecution counsel, Mr Henry Emoreh, the witness tendered the Pinnacle Communications Ltd bank opening package and statement of account, which were later admitted in evidence by the court.
During the hearing, with the prosecution unable to produce more witnesses Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja threatened to close the case of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) against the for lack of diligent prosecution.
the judge made the pronouncement following an oral application made by Alex Izinyon SAN, counsel to the 2nd and 3rd defendants (Dipo Onifade and Lucky Omoluwa) and supported by counsel representing the 1st and 4th defendants. The defence counsel to the accused had expressed dissatisfaction over the way and manner the prosecution counsel was conducting the trial in piece meal and not be able to bring up all the witnesses.
At the last adjourned date, May 27 to be precise, the ICPC lawyer Henry Emoreh, had called only two witnesses, and assured Justice Giwa that he would bring all his remaining witnesses to court on June 3. Based, on Emoreh’s assurance, the court directed him to bring all his witnesses to court on Monday June 3, instead of bringing them one per sitting.
However, at Monday’s proceeding, after calling the 6th witness, the prosecution counsel told the court that he could not continue the trial due to absence of two other witnesses.
The ICPC witness lawyer told the court that one of his witnesses travelled to Saudi Arabia for lesser Hajj, while the other was bereaved.
The matter was adjourned to 26th June, 2019 and 1st July 2019 .