An Abuja division of the Federal High Court on Thursday granted bail to Modibo Kawu, the director-general of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
Mr Kawu and three others including Dipo Onifade, Lucky Omoluwa, who is the chairman of Pinnacle Communications Limited, as well as the company, are facing charges of corruption.
The NBC boss was indicted for allegedly misappropriating N2.5 billion, a scandal that could slow down the nationwide rollout of the digital transmission of home television signals.
They are being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on 12-count charges.
Pleading not guilty to all the charges, Kawu and his co-defendants through their counsel applied for bail.
Count one of the charges reads: That you, Ishaq Modibo Kawu (m), Lucky Omolwa, and Dipo Onifade (m) sometime between December 2016 and May 2017, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, conspired with each other to use the position of Ishaq Modibo Kawu, as director general of the National Broadcasting Commission to confer corrupt advantage onLuck Omoluwa, your friend and associate, by recommending to the Hon Minister of Information to approve payment of the sum of N25 billion to Pinnacle Communications Limited, a private company owned by Lucky Omoluwa as “Seed Grant” under the Digital Switch-Over Programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria when you knew that the said company was not entitled to receive such grant and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 26 ( l )(c) and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
Ruling on the bail application on Thursday, the judge, Folashade Giwa, said the crime for which the defendants were charged “is bailable.”
As part of the bail conditions, the judge ordered that the defendants pay N100 million each with two sureties in like sum.
“The sureties must be residents of the FCT and must own landed property.
“One of the sureties must be a landed property owner in Abuja, FCT.
“The other sureties shall be on grade 17 and above in the services of the Federal Government of Nigeria in FCT, Abuja.
“They should drop in court evidence of tax payment in the last three years.
Giwa added that the prosecution shall file the addresses of the defendants, applicant and their sureties within five working days.
“The defendants are to deposit their passport photographs in court and inform the court of their contact telephone numbers.
“They are to deposit their International passport with the Deputy Chief Registrar of litigation of the court.
“The defendants are not to travel out of Nigeria without the order of the court.