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ICPC/DSO: Interrogating the Investigator

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BY HAMID HENDRIX

Actions are governed by intentions.

 

This a very profound principle of divine justice in Islam which reflects the exalted insight into the essence of determining the true nature of the overt action of human beings from the inner impulses of the mind, known only to the Omniscient,  rather than the “obvious” outward perceptions of the action itself.

 

This underscores the sanctity of divine judgment.

 

However, at our level as mere mortals, it often does not require divine wisdom to decipher the link between human action and the intended purpose of the action because of our imperfection.

 

The same applies to the actions of our corporate entities which are, after all, imprinted with our inherent weaknesses.

 

A very revealing episode that captures this element of transparent treachery in the activities of human institutions ostensibly established to uphold rectitude and dispense justice has manifested in the recent outrageous outing of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC) through an update on an investigation into an alleged “misapplication” of N2.5 billion by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in respect of payment to Pinnacle Communications Limited under the Digital Switch Over (DSO) from analogue to digital terrestrial television broadcasts.

 

The statement dished out by the ICPC’s now thoroughly thrashed spokesperson, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, turned out to be the most disastrous display of the damning disparity between outward action and ulterior motive by a government agency that was established purposely to be “independent” of undue influences in combating corrupt practices in public institutions.

 

Barely 24 hours after its self-indicting statement went public, the ICPC plunged from the heights of institutional probity to the valleys of villainous vendors of “corrupt practices and other related offences”

The ensuing barrage of bricks and bats buried the ICPC/Okoduwa howler under a scandalous summation of terminological inexactitudes, unpardonable factual errors and even unbelievable fabrications of fictitious events by a flabbergasted Pinnacle Communications Limited, an embarrassed NBC (renamed “Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation” by ICPC) and an array of dumbfounded commentators, turning the ICPC into an absurd caricature of a corrective commission, caught-in-print in the dock of public ignominy with speechless surrender.

 

Outside its quarantined quarters, there were deafening denunciations of the apparent hijacking of its investigative independence by a subterranean “Disgruntled Saboteurs’ Organization” viciously determined to destroy and pull-down the high-definition successes of Pinnacle Communications Limited and the NBC in turning the jinxed serially-postponed Digital Switch Over(DSO) from analogue to digital terrestrial television broadcasts into progressively unfolding impressive reality.

 

This disturbing attempt by unscrupulous private interests to misuse a government agency such as the ICPC to sabotage a strategic national project like the DSO is yet another diabolical dimension to the vulnerability of important public institutions and their top officials to the deeply embedded cankerworm of corruption and a veritable vindication of President Buhari’s unyielding focus and determination to fight it on all fronts.

 

For the avoidance of doubt, there is no way for the ICPC to be so pathetically uninformed, dis-informed and misguided on an issue as straight forward and well-publicized as the DSO NIGERIA project as the Okoduwa statement exposed if it had genuinely and independently carried out investigations into the project in general and the payment of N2.5 billion in particular which was so obviously the bone of dubious contention.

 

How could it not have known the correct meaning of NBC, for example, and be referring to the defunct Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, long-forgotten precursor of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria?

 

How could ICPC advertize its stark ignorance of the basic technical subject of the DSO being migration from analogue to digital terrestrial TELEVISION signal broadcasting and not TELEPHONE as its Okoduwa “fake news” declared? How could the ICPC which is supposedly so far gone in its investigations into DSO, NBC and Pinnacle Communications Limited, issue a public statement whose references are replete with fiction, fallacious figments of deliberate distortion and misrepresentation and other barely concealed prejudicial parodies of the well-documented pivotal and progressive role of Pinnacle Communications Limited in most eventful last four years of the chequered history of the DSO project?

 

Arguably, the most despicable aspect of the ICPC’s stupefying statement on so-called investigations into “misapplication” of N2.5 billion by the NBC is the manipulation of the narrative from update on investigation to speculative indictment by premeditated references to selected portions of “findings”.

 

Apart from the ICPC’s uncharacteristic recourse to EFCC-style trial-by-media which must be linked to the loss of “independence”, this again raises questions about the sources of the litany of lies and other misleading contents of the Okoduwa statement since neither NBC nor Pinnacle Communications Limited could have been the source.

 

In the corrective context of the Buhari Administration’s anti-corruption crusade, the mind-boggling matters arising from the ICPC/Okoduwa Statement constitute a rude awakening to the infiltration and hijacking of a major “fixer” in its arsenal by the “Disgruntled Saboteurs Organization”, targeting the Digital Switch Over, one of its high definition corrective achievements.

 

The loud silence of Madam Okoduwa and the ICPC over this scandalous case of collective culpability in out-sourcing its strategic core mandate to unpatriotic enemies of progress demands a drastic and decisive dose of defensive action, not just to save the DSO NIGERIA project but also to salvage the ICPC, now the weakest link in the war against corrupt practices, in action as well as intention.

HAMID HENDRIX, PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR, WROTE FROM ABUJA

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Star Lager Releases New TVC Starring Burna Boy

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After a landmark unveiling of Burna Boy as its brand ambassador, National premium beer brand, Star Lager has unveiled its new commercial which features the afro-pop artist.

 

The commercial follows Burna through a photo shoot as he poses with the Star bottle and cans, and also features a very catchy hook which plays as a jingle all through the commercial.

 

The Star brand has been known for iconic commercials all through its illustrious years in the Nigerian beer industry.

 

These include the now infamous Shine Shine Bobo radio ad which was brilliantly delivered by the late Theodore Austin Mukoro.

 

Burna Boy seems to have drawn inspiration from this by infusing bits of the classic melody in his own rendition of the new Star jingle.

 

Over the years, Star has been unrelenting in its efforts at encouraging the Nigerians who are aspirational in their ambitions.

The new theme “Celebrate the brighter side” is referenced in the new ad as Star continues with this brand messaging across various forms of media and touch points.

 

Speaking on the release of the commercial, Sarah Agha, Portfolio Manager, National Premium brands,  expressed her delight on the commercial saying, “Burna Boy is an amazing talent with a very likable personality, It’s no surprise he’s been so successful in the entertainment scene.

 

“It was interesting to have him star in our TVC as we prepare our consumers for what is to come in 2019.

 

As you can see, his performance was full of joy and energy, and we look forward to unveiling bigger and brighter content with Burna Boy.”

 

STAR was introduced into the Nigerian market on June 2, 1949, creating the first indigenously brewed beer in a market that was dominated exclusively by imported brands.

 

Shortly after its entry into the market, STAR overcame the challenges associated with a new brand in a market already used to imported beer and started on a path of tremendous growth.

 

This path has seen the brand rise to become one of the most renowned lagers in Nigeria.

 

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Heineken Shares UEFA Champions League Unmissable Moments With Football Fans In Port Harcourt And Enugu

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Heineken, International Premium Lager Beer on Tuesday, March 12th, 2019, thrilled football fans in Port Harcourt and Enugu to an exclusive viewing of UEFA Champions League matches at Helena Haven Hotels and De Lift respectively.

 

The vivacious event had eager fans troop in to catch the Manchester City Vs FC Schalke 04 and Juventus Vs Atletico Madrid matches.

 

Equipped with impressive giant screens, the premium venue was teeming with over a hundred excited football fans, ready to cheer their favourite clubs to victory, while they enjoyed unmissable match moments on the LED screens.

 

Compere, Spaceman of Beat FM was also on hand to host the event, adding to the energy and excitement in the air as fans settled to watch the games.

 

Football fans joined in on the match conversations by sharing their match predictions and their most memorable moments from the match.

 

The evening ended with much banter and excited chatter amongst the fans in attendance, as Manchester City beat FC Schalke 04 7-0, and Juventus thanks to a hat-trick by star man Cristiano Ronaldo beat Atletico Madrid by 3 goals to nil.

 

To wrap up the event, Heineken also rewarded two lucky consumers with an all expense paid trip to the UEFA Champions League Semi-Finals.

 

This reward was given as part of Heineken’s effort to connect with its loyal consumer base and solidifying its partnership with the UEFA Champions League.

 

“We wanted to reward our consumers in a way that only Heineken can. We are excited to share all the unmissable moments in the 2019 UEFA Champions League with our consumers and we look forward to continually bring premium experiences to live as we take football viewing to the next level.  This is our little way of saying thank you.”



Those were the words of the Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Emmanuel Oriakhi at the Heineken semi-finals presentation in Port Harcourt.

 

“I can’t believe it. I just came here to enjoy the game with some of my friends and I got lucky.

 

“This is such a surreal feeling. Thank you, Heineken.” – said Isreal Inaede, a winner of the all-expense paid trip to the semi-finals who was presented with his cheque in Port Harcourt.

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Alleged N2.5Bn Fraud: Court Orders NBC Boss to Appear ‘Even on Stretcher’

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Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered Mr Abdullahi Mustapha (SAN), to produce Kawu Modibbo, director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), in court on the next adjourned date of April 17 to take his plea.

Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa gave the order, following the absence of Modibbo in court to answer to fraud charges levelled against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, (ICPC).

Modibbo, Lucky Omoluwa, founder of Pinnacle Communications Ltd (third defendant); Dipo Onifade (2nd defendant) and Pinnacle Communications Ltd (4th defendant) are facing trial over allegations of fraud in the digital switch over project of the Federal Government.

When the matter was called, Mustapha told the court that Modibbo was not present in court based on health grounds.

“My lord, let me apologise for the absence of Modibbo in court. He is on admission. He had a major surgery 10 years ago, and is ill.

“I have a medical report from the University of Illorin Teaching Hospital to confirm that he is currently ill, and I shall be filing it before the court registry,” he said.

Kawu Modibbo, DG, NBC

He prayed the court for an adjournment based on the health of his client and pending when he (Modibbo) will be well enough to stand trial.

Mr Henry Emore, prosecuting counsel, did not oppose the oral application for an adjournment.

Emore, however, said it should be on record that they had taken one adjournment out of 5, as stipulated by the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 in criminal cases.

Mr Alex Izinyon, (SAN), who announced appearance for the 2nd and 3rd defendants also did not oppose the application for an adjournment.

Izinyon said his not opposing was based on the fact that only the living could praise God; and only the living could face trial.

He, however, drew the attention of the court to the fact that the statement of Emore on adjournment was not applicable to the other defendants and the court affirmed.

Justice Ogunbanjo-Giwa said she would not bend over backwards again to grant an adjournment exceeding two weeks based on the provision of Section 396 of ACJA.

She also directed the prosecuting counsel to verify the authenticity of the medical report filed by Modibbo’s counsel and file a report on it to the court.

She adjourned the matter until April 17 for the defendants to take their plea, and May 2, 3, 8 and 9 for commencement of trial.

 

 

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