According to reports,the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC has recommended that the federal government suspend the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, and 32 other public officers/civil servants currently undergoing corruption trial.
The Commission, wants these officials who they are prosecuting to be suspended from office pending the conclusion of the cases.
The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission has also urged the government to, in line with the rules of public service, give appropriate punishment(s) to other civil servants who have already been convicted for infringements of the rules.
As reported by Premium Times, the ICPC made these requests in a letter to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.
The ICPC said the 33 officials who should be suspended are standing trial for offences such as bribery, certificate forgery, making false statements, conspiracy to steal and outright misappropriation of public funds.
The offences fall under “Serious Acts of Misconduct” in the Public Service Rules.
Section 4 Rule 030402 of the document defines serious acts of misconduct as “specific act of very wrongdoing and improper behaviour which is inimical to the image of the service and which can be investigated and if proven, may lead to dismissal.”
The Federal Ministry of Health tops the list with five of its officials recommended for suspension.
The anti-graft agency also requested the suspension of three officials of the then Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and another three from the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The Nigeria Prisons Service, Ministry of Niger Delta, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Foreign Affairs have two officials each on the list.
Apart from the NBC, the Commission recommended the suspension of one official each from the NSITF, Federal Ministry of Interior, Federal Ministry of Environment, Federal Housing Authority, Federal Civil Service Commission, Nigeria Army and the Bayelsa Liaison Office in Abuja.
Case against NBC Director-General
The anti-graft agency said it is prosecuting Mr Kawu for “using (his) position to confer corruption advantage.”
The commission had on May 2, arraigned Mr Kawu and two others by name Dipo Onifade and Lucky Omoluwa, over alleged N2.5 billion fraud.
The commission brought 12-count charges against the trio, alleging that they conspired with each other to use the position of Mr. Kawu to confer corrupt advantage on Mr Omoluwa, his friend and associate.
The accused allegedly recommended to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai 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.
According to the charge sheet, Mr Kawu made the recommendation to the minister “when you knew that the same company was not entitled to receive such grant and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 26 (1c) and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”
The court however granted Mr Kawu and his co-defendants bail the same day after they pleaded not guilty to all the charges through their counsel.
There is yet to be any official comments from the NBC boss.
Source: Premium Times