Lai Mohammed

A Federal High Court has granted the application of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), to list the former Minister of Information, Mr. Lai Mohammed as a witness in a “N2.5 billion fraud case.

The ICPC had taken the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr. Ishaq Kawu and two other individuals, Lucky Omoluwa and Dipo Onifade, Chairman of pinnacle communications on the allegation of misappropriating N2.5 billion in the Digital Switch-Over (DSO) programme.

At the last adjourned sitting, Alex Izinyon, counsel to Omoluwa and Onifade, had filed a motion seeking an order of the court to stop the prosecution from listing Mr. Lai Mohammed and Shuaibu Sabo, a bureau de change operator, as additional witnesses. At the court hearing today, Mr. Abayomi Oyelola who held the brief for Mr. Alex Iziyon, announced the withdrawal of the motion opposing the list of additional witnesses by the ICPC prompting the trial judge Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa, to strike out the application paving way for the ICPC to go ahead with listing Mr. Mohammed as a witness.

Meanwhile, the court has ordered a temporary release of the international passports of the chairman of Pinnacles Communication, Mr. Lucky Omoluwa and his Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Dipo Onifade to travel outside the country within the months of July, August, and September.

The men who are co-defendants with the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Mr. Modibbo Kawu, in a case of an alleged misapplication of funds in the digital switchover programme, were granted this leave on the grounds that they each provide a surety to swear an affidavit to represent them during their trip.

The trial judge, justice Folashade Giwa also gave this order in view of the fact that the counsel to the ICPC withdrew a counter affidavit opposing the release of their passports and had filed an affidavit verifying the defendants’ addresses in the bail bond in compliance to the court’s directive on July 1.

Justice Folashade further warned that the passports are to be returned back to the registry of the court on or before the 25th of September as failure to do so will lead to the detention of their sureties till their arrival.

Justice Giwa adjourned to October 2, 2019, for the continuation of trial.

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