After several months of being investigated on allegations of corruption, the Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Modibbo Kawu, has been suspended with immediate effect.
This is coming months after the anti-graft agency, ICPC, urged the federal government to suspend the Mr Kawu, and 32 other public officers/civil servants undergoing corruption trial at the time.
A source at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) confirmed that Mr Kawu was given the letter of suspension Thursday, pending the conclusion of investigations into the allegations against him.
Another source at the NBC confirmed that Armstrong Idachaba, the present director, Broadcast Monitoring, was handed a letter to proceed as the acting DG of NBC.
Also, sources at the ICPC confirmed that they have been told that Mr Kawu has been suspended until the conclusion of his trial.
He may be reinstated if he is cleared of the allegation.
Efforts to reach Mr Kawu on Friday were not successful. He did not return calls nor respond to a text message sent to him.
When contacted, Antia Ekanem, the spokesperson to the NBC, said she was not aware of the development. Also, Willie Bassey, the spokesperson to the SGF, said he was not aware of such suspension.
‘In the storm’s eye’
ICPC said it is prosecuting Mr Kawu for “using (his) position to confer corruption advantage.”
The Commission on May 2 arraigned Mr Kawu and two others, Dipo Onifade and Lucky Omoluwa, over alleged N2.5 billion fraud.
READ ALSO: NBC grants broadcast licence to Bayero University
The trio, who are being prosecuted on 12-count charges, allegedly conspired with each other to use the position of Mr Kawu to confer a corrupt advantage on Mr Omoluwa, his friend and associate.
The allegations also roped in information minister, Lai Mohammed.
Mr Kawu allegedly asked Mr Mohammed to approve payment of N2.5 billion to Pinnacle Communications Ltd owned by Mr Omoluwa as “Seed Grant” under the Digital Switch-Over Programme of the federal government.
Mr Mohammed had admitted in a PREMIUM TIMES exclusive in April that he did not follow due diligence before signing off on the controversial payment.
The anti-graft agency charged Mr Kawu for allegedly ‘deceiving’ Mr Mohammed to sign the deal.
The court later granted Mr Kawu and his co-defendants bail the same day after they pleaded not guilty to all the charges.