- As NBC revokes 54 radio/TV licences
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission has seized 220 flats, located in 20 estates, allegedly belonging to one Sanusi Mohammed, a former aide to ex-Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State.
It was learnt that 165 rounds of ammunition, a pump action rifle and other weapons were found in some of Mohammed’s properties located at GRA, Bauchi.
A source in Bauchi told one of our correspondents that the ICPC made the discovery following a tip-off by a whistle-blower.
He said, “About 10 days ago, we received a tip-off from a whistle-blower about the lifestyle of one Sanusi Mohammed, a former aide to former Bauchi Governor, Isa Yuguda.
“We traced 220 flats in 20 estates to him. The houses range from two-bedroom to three-bedroom flats. Inside some of the properties, we discovered four sophisticated guns with 165 rounds of ammunition, five exotic cars and 15 new air conditioners. “We believe the air conditioners were donated to the Bauchi State Government by China.
“We also recovered some cash as well as 25 designer watches and 20 bales of brocade.”
It was learnt that Mohammed was arrested by the ICPC and quizzed but was later released on administrative bail.
One of our correspondents visited the residence of Mohammed, a former Senior Special Adviser on Special Duties to Yuguda, twice but was told he was not at home. He was told that the ex-special adviser said he would call him but had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.
When contacted on the telephone, the spokesperson for the ICPC, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, said she could not speak on the matter.
She said, “According to the ICPC Act, we are not allowed to divulge details of investigation. I cannot deny or confirm any story. In any case, anyone who is under investigation is presumed innocent until proved otherwise.”
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which is also investigating Yuguda, had sealed his multi-million naira mansion at Sir Kashim Ibrahim Street, GRA, Bauchi.
A committee set up by the current Bauchi State Government to carry out forensic audit of all major contracts awarded by the past administration from June 2007 to May 2015 in the Bauchi State Universal Basic Education Board, Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Bauchi Specialist Hospitals, Ministries, Departments and Agencies, had, in January, asked Yuguda to account for over N212bn expended by his administration within the period under review.
Over N100bn was alleged to have been mismanaged by permanent secretaries, commissioners and aides to the former governor.
Yuguda appointed 20 Special Advisers, 94 Senior Special Assistants and 810 Special Assistants.
In the meantime, fifty four broadcast licences have been revoked.
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) revoked the licences because fees were not paid within the mandatory 60-day window.
NBC Director General Is-haq Modibbo, who stated this yesterday added that 120 licences that were paid for but which did not go on air within the mandatory two-year period are soon to be cancelled.
Modibbo, who addressed a news conference in Abuja, gave a deadline of end of this month to stations owing the commission a cumulative amount of N5 billion, to pay up their fees or lose their licences.
He said: “Over the past two weeks, I gave a directive that the licences of 54 companies that were issued licences but had refused to pay their fees within the mandatory 60-day window, be revoked.
“Those licences are revoked. There is another list of over 120 licenses that were paid for within the mandatory period but were unable to come on air, within the mandatory two years; they are also being processed for revocation. And they will be revoked! Frequencies cannot be held indefinitely by individuals.
“At our stakeholders’ conference with broadcast organisations, I informed stations of a persistent pattern of refusal to pay licence fees. Stations around Nigeria owe the NBC over N5 billion. Even the statutory act of informing NBC, six months before expiration of licenses and signification of intention to continue as licensees is willfully ignored by stations.
“License fees are in arrears; there is no plan by many of these stations to pay; while some even have the temerity to write NBC, the regulatory institution, that the amount they are obliged to pay is too much, consequently, they then tell us how much they are willing to pay, and even adding the time they are going to pay such sums that they have decided to pay.”
He warned that cases where some private station owners use political connections with the top most political leadership in the past to get illegal and undue favours that run contrary to the NBC Act and the Nigeria Broadcasting Code would no longer be condoned.
“We are delighted that Nigerians are investing in setting up radio and television stations; they create jobs; open up accesses for content producers to showcase talents and are contributing to national development. But no one has a right to hold on to allocated frequencies indefinitely, when the resource itself is finite and there are other people waiting and ready to make use of those frequencies,” he said.
He said June 2017 deadline remained sacrosanct on Digital Switch Over (DSO).
On Digital Switch Over (DSO) launched on December 22, 2016, Kawu said 251, 447 STBs were sold in Abuja.
“In the same period, 145, 357 boxes were activated; our call center received a total of 325, 028 calls in the same period.
“The next phase is our plan for the six states that we have chosen to switch on. As I address you today, Pinnacle Communications Limited has commenced the installation of the facilities for Kaduna. I was there to inspect the work being done at the weekend.
“Our colleagues can go to the site on Rabah Road, in Kaduna to verify that work is advancing very rapidly there. They have also concluded plans for Delta and Gombe states, while the second signal distributor, ITS, will similarly mobilise into Kwara, Enugu and Osun states,” he added.
Punch with additional report from Nation