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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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Multichoice Nigeria Rakes In N133.2Bn in 1 Year

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Multichoice Nigeria, pay-tv operator, raked in N133.2 billion in revenue from subscriptions in the last one year, according to the Group’s financial results for the full year ended March 31, 2019.

 

According to the results released to the Group’s investors last week, the Nigeria operating unit generated R5.3 billion in the year under review, which amounts to N133.2 billion when converted at the current exchange rate of N25.14 to R1, according to Newtelegraph.

 

The revenue from Nigeria in the 2019 financial year represented 24.8 per cent growth when compared with N100 billion (R4 billion) recorded in the previous financial year. The country accounted for 10.6 per cent of the Group’s total revenue for the year, which stood at R50 billion.

 

Multichoice attributed the increase in revenue to growth in subscriber base and increase in the price of some of its subscription packages.

 

The results showed that Multichoice Nigeria increased its premium package price by seven per cent in the year under review, while the price of its mid package was increased by eight per cent.

 

However, the company said it reduced the price of its lowest package targeted at mass subscribers by three per cent in the same period.

 

In terms of number of household subscribers, Nigeria was categorised among other operating units of the Group in Africa, which include Angola, Zambia, Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique to become a separate entity known as Rest of Africa (RoA), aside South Africa. According to the report, the Group’s total subscriptions grew by 12 per cent year-on-year to hit 15.1 million. South Africa accounted for 7.4 million of the total subscriptions while the RoA had 7.7 million.

 

Commenting on the result, Calvo Mawela, Multichoice Group CEO, said the Group was able to increase revenue by six per cent year-on-year and trading profit by 11 per cent to R7 billion. He added that Multichoice had also invested more in local content and stepped up production of local content to 4,600 hours.

 

“Our growth is exceptionally pleasing, especially in the current economic climate, and a clear indication that our strategy is working. We continue to believe in the growing appetite for video entertainment across the African continent,” he said.

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Hi-Life FEST Regional Knockout Train Heads to Commercial City of Aba

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All roads lead to Aba for the final leg of the Hi-Life Fest regional knockouts. This is following successive weeks of enthralling regional contests, which have taken place across various cities in the East including Enugu, Awka, and Asaba.

 

The regional knockouts in Asaba, which held at the Sandy Gold Hotel, Abraka on the 23rd of June 2019, was a spectacle to behold as talented highlife artistes and dancers gave their best performances in hopes of qualifying for the next round of the competition.

 

This year, the winner of Hi-Life Fest will be awarded a mouthwatering cash prize of N5 Million Naira.

 

The contestants were screened and auditioned by a panel of elite judges including the likes of highlife music legend, Chief Bright Chimezie; African dance scholar & instructor, Dr. Akaz, actor David Jones David and guest judge/OAP Jude Aguize.

 

After delighting the audience with some awe-inspiring performances, Chijioke Charles and Kingsley Ifeanyi clinched the two available spots to qualify for the quarterfinal. In the dance category, Akaramarama dance group fought off tough competition to secure the only spot in the dance category.

 

The regional knock-out in Asaba also featured a performance from the winner of the 2017 edition of Hi-Life Fest, Chibest David, who provided the perfect side attraction as guests enjoyed the refreshing taste of Life Lager.

 

With the completion of the Asaba regionals, the train now heads to Aba for the final round of regional knockouts set to take place on the 30th of June.

 

This year’s Hi-Life Fest themed “Rhythm of Progress”, is the third edition of the beloved talent hunt contest. Over the years, the competition has produced remarkable highlife music talents such as Chibest David and Dons Ifeanyi who have gone on to become bonafide stars.

 

Hi-Life FEST is an initiative of Life Continental Lager Beer, brewed from the stables of Nigerian Breweries Plc.

 

The fine quality lager is made from the finest choice of grains, hob extracts and the purest of waters, expertly brewed to give that rich, crisp distinctive taste and well-rounded aroma in the true quality fashion of the master brewer.

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Ota And Abeokuta Catch Ariya Repete Fever

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More quarterfinalists have emerged after the Ariya Repete 2019 regional knockouts in Ogun state.

 

Simultaneous auditions took place in Ota and Abeokuta, where residents and fans of indigenous music came out in their numbers to watch contestants slug it out for a spot in the quarterfinals.

 

The Ota and Abeokuta selection parties kicked off at 6.p.m on the 21st June, and they were nothing short of spectacular, as all contestants delivered amazing performances in a bid to stake a claim in the next round of the competition.

 

The contestants displayed immense creativity, great stagecraft, and some awe-inspiring vocals, which left the judges with the hard task of selecting the three (3) winners on the night.

 

It was entertainment non-stop, as well as a blend of fun and serious business as the judges and audience were thrilled by the quality of contestants that graced the stage.

 

At the conclusion of the keenly contested Ota regionals, Sulaimon Ajayo Adeyemi, Prince Ade Micheal, and Christian Olamide were selected as the winners in the Fuji, Juju and Afro-Pop categories respectively. Similarly, in Abeokuta, Alhaji Taofek Adeyinka, Adeleye Temitope, and Ayeni Olajuwon emerged victorious in the Fuji, Juju and Afro-Pop categories respectively.

 

The selected contestants have now inched one-step closer to winning their share of the 20 million Naira up for grabs. Their next hurdle will be the quarterfinal showdown on the 26th of July in the sunshine city of Akure.

 

Speaking after the Abeokuta selection party, an overjoyed Ayeni Olajuwon who qualified in the Fuji category expressed his appreciation to the organizers of the show and also his determination to make further progress as the competition progresses. He said;

 

“I am so glad I won today, I’m so grateful to Goldberg Lager for giving me this opportunity to show my talents. I can’t wait to go up on stage again, and I believe I can make it to the final”

 

Follow-up to the successful completion of the selection parties in Ogun state, Ariya Repete 2019 regional audition heads to Ibadan and Akure on 26th of June at Mauve 21 Hotel, Ibadan and First Molac Hotel, Akure. Residents of Ibadan and Akure now have the chance to participate in the competition and slug it out for a place in the quarterfinal.

 

This edition of Ariya Repete will be televised on TV stations from the 12th of July. Ariya Repete is proudly sponsored by Goldberg Lager.

 

For more information, visit Goldberg social media pages @goldberg_ng for Instagram and @goldberglagerng on Twitter. Follow the conversation using the hashtag – #AriyaRepete2019.

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