Tension!!! Lai Mohammed May Be Going To Jail, Over Very Massive Looting

By Post-Nigeria: April 17, 2019 10:10

Tension!!! Lai Mohammed May Be Going To Jail, Over Very Massive Looting

The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, has admitted that he did not do due diligence before signing off on a controversial N2.5 billion payment, to a private digital broadcast signal distributor.

Lai Mohammed told the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC, that he only approved the payment, based on the recommendation of the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, in May 2017, according to those familiar with the investigation.

Recall, that anti-graft Detectives at the ICPC have been investigating the transaction, since June 2018. Already, the ICPC has charged Modibbo Kawu, the DG of NBC, for allegedly deceiving Lai Mohammed, to perpetrate the fraud.

Anti-graft Officers questioned Lai Mohammed last year, as part of their investigation, but he was unable to provide any information beyond his claim that he only acted on the documents presented to him.

Lai Mohammed did not let detectives record the session, saying that, he needed “clearance” from Boss Mustapha, the Secretary-General of the Federation.

An ICPC Official revealed on Tuesday, that Lai Mohammed “bullied” those detailed to question him, because of his “high role” as the top image maker for the government.

Even though Lai Mohammed did not cooperate with Investigators, the ICPC has been reluctant about charging him for approving the contract.

Rasheedat Okoduwa, the Agency’s Spokesperson, disclosed that Lai Mohammed was not charged, because he said he was deceived into signing the payment.

Mrs. Okoduwa however, added that if further revelations emerged during Kawu’s trial that will necessitate arraigning Lai Mohammed, the ICPC will not hesitate to do so.

Report has shown that Lai Mohammed played more role than just signing documents. He signed several documents, and also took part in discussions between Pinnacle Communications, and embarked on foreign trips to inspect equipment for Nigeria’s digital switch-over, according to those familiar with the matter.

Kawu also revealed that he did no wrong in recommending the payment to Lai Mohammed, and did not assume responsibility for the Minister’s approval.

He explained why the N2.5 billion was paid to Pinnacle, and all the projects the company has executed to fast-track Nigeria’s adoption of digital switch-over.

The N2.5 billion was withdrawn from the N10 billion that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, seized from the NBC, in 2016.

Detectives said that the money was banked in a manner that violated the Treasury Single Account, TSA, policy.

The anti-graft Agency later released the entire N10 billion to the NBC and Lai Mohammed, to carry on with the digital switch-over project.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami, has already expressed intention to take over the case, but the ICPC Officials feared it could be politicised, and vowed to continue with the prosecution of Kawu and others.

Kawu maintained that he suspected political forces were out to get him, but not that he has done anything wrong in Office.

“I have been informed from several quarters, that there are certain political forces who are determined to use the issue of a court arraignment to force me out of Office”, Kawu said.

“The plan is to lean on such arraignment, to commence a Media campaign that will insist I step aside from my position, until I have been cleared in the courts.”

Meanwhile, anti-corruption campaigners pointed out that they were not convinced by Lai Mohammed’s explanation, because it has no legal backing.

“There is no law in Nigeria that says an Official could assert ignorance after signing such a humongous amount of money, in one of the world’s poorest countries”, Yomi Ogunsanya, a Lawyer and an anti-corruption Activist said.

Ogunsanya described Lai Mohammed’s excuse as “pedestrian”, and called on the ICPC to charge him, alongside others.

“Ignorance does not excuse anybody, when it comes to approving public funds”, Ogunsanya said.

“Can we say the Minister has been approving billions for Agencies under his Ministry, without necessary scrutiny?

“Ordinarily, the Minister should have conducted his own due diligence, he has enough Officials on public payroll, who could do the job for him”, the Analyst added.

“The ICPC should immediately charge him, as the Minister that supervised the payment.”

Ogunsanya disclosed that even though the contract was a dent on the administration’s anti-corruption posturing, the trial that has emanated from it should be seen as a bright spot, especially because it has the potential to throw up fresh revelations.

“A lot will probably be revealed in court, that will further expose how far the Minister was involved”, Ogunsanya said.

“But we can also see the ICPC’s charges against a Senior Government Official as a progress.”

(FREE) secret Fruits that Increased My Manh0d size and Lasting Power in 7days… CLICK HERE TO GET IT!!!