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NBC: Again, ICPC can’t produce witness over alleged N2.5bn DSO fraud

It was yet another moment of excuses on the part of ICPC prosecuting Counsel, Mr E.C. Otti, on Monday as he begged trial judge, Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo of the Federal High Court, Abuja for adjournment in the trial of Mr Modibbo Kawu, Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) over alleged abuse of N2.5bn meant for Digital Switchover (DSO).

The anti-graft agency had dragged Kawu, Pinnacle Communications Ltd and two others to court on alleged misappropriation of N2.5 billion for the DSO project of the Federal Government.

Also joined in the case as defendants are Dipo Onifade and Lucky Omoluwa, Chairman, Pinnacle Communications Ltd and they are being prosecuted on 12-count charges.

However, in her ruling on oral request for adjournment, Justice Giwa-Ogunbanjo warned the ICPC to desist from the act of requesting for adjournments at every seating.

According to her, “You cannot continue in this manner because it would not be in your interest.

“You didn’t bring your witnesses in the last three sittings of this case and this is not beneficial to your case.

“If you are having challenges, you know the options available as I don’t have to tell you.

“See the writing on the wall now that they are urging the court to close the case.

Aggrieved jurist averred that “I will adjourn the case with the hope that the prosecution will come with their witnesses at the next adjourned date.”

The Judge adjourned the case until Nov.3, Nov.4, and Nov.5 for continuation of trial.

Recall that during the last seating on October 2nd, Justice Giwa-Ogunbanjo had threatened to strike out the prosecution’s case on grounds of exhaustion of allowable limits of requests for adjournments in a criminal case.

Trouble started for ICPC when its lead counsel, Mr E.C. Otti, told the court that one of his witness was unavoidably absent from court because he was out of the country.