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Pinnacle Kicks as ICPC Freezes Account over Alleged N2.5Bn Fraud, Court Rules December 14

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed December 14, for ruling in a motion on notice challenging the freezing of an account belonging to Pinnacle Communications Ltd by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over allegation of N2.5bn fraud.

 

Pinnacle Communications Limited is the only private licenced signal distributor for the Federal Government approved implementation of the transition from analogue to digital terrestrial television broadcasting in Nigeria in accordance with the 2012 government White Paper section 11.2 (a) which approved that ‘more than one signal distributor be licenced in addition to NTA-the public licenced signal distributor. Another signal distributor should be licensed immediately.

 

In 2014, Pinnacle emerged successful bidder out of nine companies after a rigorous public tender and full compliance with due process.

 

The ICPC had claimed that Pinnacle was fraudulently recommended to the Minister of Information and Culture for the release of N2.5bn against the guidelines contained in the White Paper.

 

The date was fixed by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba after the submissions of counsel in the matter.

 

Moving his motion on notice, the plaintiff’s counsel urged the court to lift the order of post-no-debit placed on the account of Pinnacle domiciled in Zenith bank.

 

  1. Ekanem SAN, plaintiff counsel, told the court that the ICPC has not adduced cogent reasons why the order freezing the account should be granted.

 

Ekanem argued that what the commission has continued to say was that they are still conducting investigation on the source of the fund.

 

He disclosed that chairman of Pinnacle as a mark of respect for ICPC honoured an invitation extended to him on November 14, where he made statement under caution and was subsequently granted bail.

 

“You cannot clamp down our client’s account based on mere suspicion and not even with a valid court order” the plaintiff’s counsel posited.

 

Reacting to the notices of preliminary objection filed by E. A Shogunle, counsel to the 1st respondent (ICPC), and Abdullahi Abubakar, counsel for the 3rd respondent (AGF), Ekanem insisted that the claim of respondents that they are challenging jurisdiction of court to hear the matter was misconceived.

 

Counsel to Pinnacle told the court that his client is not challenging any order made by a magistrate court because “there was no order of court freezing the account of the plaintiff.

 

The plaintiff’s counsel in urging the court to dismiss the objection said what the respondents referred to as an order of court was an ICPC order.

 

Ekanem told the court that the 21 days given to ICPC to conclude investigation and unfreeze the account have elapsed, yet the agency did not comply with the directive.

 

However, ICPC and AGF contended that the plaintiff’s claim was purely a matter between the company and Zenith bank, and therefore should be at the Federal Capital Territory High Court.

 

Shogunle argued that what the ICPC did was temporary seizure of the fund pending outcome of investigation.

 

He stated that there was evidence of money laundering which suggested that the fund was a proceed of unlawful activity.

 

Consequently, Shogunle said, in accordance with section 45 of ICPC Act, the commission’s chairman can order a bank to temporarily freeze a suspected account.

 

After hearing counsel, Justice Dimgba fixed December 14, for ruling.

 

A recent statement by Rasheedat Okoduwa, ICPC spokesperson, last Thursday, had mentioned the company among those quizzed in connection with the alleged fraud.

 

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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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