League of Civil Society Groups has charged the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to ‘stop wasting government fund over the alleged N2.5 billion fraud case instituted against Pinnacle communications and the Director-General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Kawu Modibbo.
The Group, in a statement signed by its President, Ambassador Mukthar Akoshile on Monday said the recent revelation by an ICPC investigator that the payment of the fund to Pinnacle communications did not violate the federal government white Paper on implementation of the Digital Switch Over (DSO), has further confirmed its position that the anti-graft agency does not have substantial evidence to proof its case against Pinnacle Communications.
The statement reads in part: “The investigator, Charles Adama who had earlier maintained that the payment of N2.5billion seed grant to Pinnacle Communications Limited by NBC was contrary to the recommendations of the White Paper could not cite the particular section violated when asked to point it out from a copy of the White Paper given to him during cross examination.
“Charles Adama also disclosed that although the ICPC normally acts on petitions received there was no petition against Pinnacle Communications Limited and neither has the Presidency which approved funding for the DSO lodged any complaints about the company, but he said there was a petition against ITS, the government licensed signal distributor for DSO that was paid N 1.7 billion.
“The group insisted that Pinnacle communications merited being chosen for the project and did not engaged in sharp practices as being alleged by ICPC.
“Pinnacle Limited was chosen, after going through a rigorous selection process that involved about nine companies, in 2014 before the coming on stream of the Buhari administration. The said funds were paid to Pinnacle Communications, from a contingency fund that had been provided for that purpose by the Federal Government”.
The group called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene saying the trial has stalled the Digital Switch Over Programme thus “denying the people of Nigeria the benefits of such a laudable project that would have put Nigeria on the global content creation and broadcasting map”.