By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked 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 investigate the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and other top officials that allegedly played suspicious role around the N2.5bn NBC scandal.
In a press statement by the party’s spokesman Kola Ologbodiyan Thursday in Abuja, PDP specifically demanded an open investigation into the alleged role played by certain top officials of the Buhari Presidency, including the Minister of Information and Culture, around the matter.
Ologbondiyan said that ICPC’s investigation of N2.5billion NBC Digital Switch Over (DSO) contract further exposed the inherent corruption in the Buhari Presidency and how Presidency officials and leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had been siphoning billions of naira from government agencies.
PDP added, “This scandal 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 in the N13.1 million NBC loan scandals since May 2016.
“We therefore urge 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 party insisted that the failure of the Buhari Presidency to investigate and if found culpable, prosecute the Minister for the alleged act of manifest corruption showed how the Buhari Presidency had 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”, PDP added.