The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), has hailed last recent order issued by Justice F.O. Giwa, of the Federal High Court Abuja, over a N2.5bn fraud case involving the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Modibbo Kawu.
This was contained in a press release issued by CACOL, signed by the Executive Chairman Mr. Debo Adeniran.
According to Adeniran: “The order of the Judge that Kawu should be produced before the court on April 17th, 2019, even if he has to be brought on a stretcher is courageous. This is an indication that the judge is not ready to tolerate flimsy excuses offered by suspected corrupt persons each time they are to appear for trial”.
The CACOL boss recalled that last year a similar excuse was given by the former Governor of Abia State, now the Senator-Elect, Orji Uzor Kalu, who claimed he was ill in a bid to frustrate his trial which had already lingered for 11 years. The same Kalu eventually went underground ever since and refused to respond to court summons to appear for continuation of his trial even after he was seen at rallies campaigning for the 2019 general election.
The CACOL boss further stated that: “The order issued by the Judge will serve as a warning to all corrupt persons that intend to hide under the pretext of ill-health to avoid standing trial for their offences, so as to go unpunished at the end.
“Truly, I support the fact that it is only the living that can face trial, but the corruption suspects should desist from cooking up excuses to frustrate the course of justice. The accused persons lawyer Mr. Abdullah Mustapha (SAN) should obey the court’s order by presenting his client before the court next April 17th”.
The CACOL boss concluded by advising the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to ensure that the fraud case is diligently prosecuted. He also called on ICPC to arraign the NBC boss alongside Lucky Omoluwa and Dipo Onifade, Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Limited over their alleged complicity in the mismanagement of the huge amount of public fund meant for the Digital Switch-Over programme of the Federal Government.
By Gboyega Adeoye