Alleged N2.5bn Fraud: Court Grants NBC Boss, Modibbo, Others N300m Bail

Alleged N2.5bn Fraud: Court Grants NBC Boss, Modibbo, Others N300m Bail

Thursday, May 2, 2019 9:21 pm


Modibbo Kawu

Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa of theFederal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, granted bail to the Director General of National Broadcasting Commission, Ishaq Kawu Modibbo.

Others who secured bail are Sir Lucky Omoluwa, Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Ltd, and Dipo Onifade.

They are facing trial over allegation of fraud in the digital switch over project of the Federal Government.

The defendants were granted bail by the court after they had pleaded not guilty to a 12-count charge preferred against them by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).

Trial judge, Justice Giwa however granted the defendants bail on the following conditions.

The court granted each of the three defendants bail in the sum of N100 million with two sureties each in the like sum.

The sureties are expected to depose an affidavit of means as well as must be property owners in FCT.

Justice Giwa also held that title deeds of the property must be verified and submitted to the court.

Besides, the court said one of the sureties must be resident in FCT, not less than level 17 in public service, and must show evidence of tax payment in the last threeyears.

In addition, Justice Giwa ordered the defendants to deposit their international passports with the registrar (litigation) of the court.

Also, the sureties were ordered to submit two recent passport photographs to the registrar of the court.

The court however gave the defendants 10 days to fulfil the bail conditions or risk being remanded in ICPC or prison custody.

Trial of the defendants begins today.

Earlier, Abdullahi Mustapha SAN, counsel to Modibbo had urged the court to grant him bail since there was a medical report filed before the court showing that the 1st defendant (Modibbo) is having health challenge.

Besides Modibbo being on administrative bail, Mustapha told the court that the presumption of innocence was in favour of the applicant under sections 158, 159 and 162 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

But objecting to the bail application, Henry Emore, counsel to ICPC informed the court that Modibbo jumped bail and did not honour invitation.

However, Mustapha denied the allegation, and urged the ICPC lawyer to provide proof.

Similarly, Alex Iziyon SAN, counsel to Onifade (2nd) and Omoluwa (3rd) defendants moved the bail application of Omoluwa since the prosecution did not oppose that of Onifade.

The summary of Izinyon’s bail application was that the issue “is a bailable offence under the Constitution, ACJA and ICPC Act.

In addition, Iziyon had argued that bail was at the discretion of the court, which must be exercised judicially and judiciously.

On his part, the ICPC lawyer had opposed the bail application on the ground that the applicant had refused to honour its invitation since he was granted administrative bail.

Omore further urged the court, that in the event it was minded to grant bail to the defendants, it should be on stringent terms to make them attend trial.

But Izinyon insisted that the 3rd defendant did not jump bail, and demanded proof from the prosecution.

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