N34bn NBC debacle: “We are proud of what we did”


By Vanguard Newspapers

Members of the Board of Directors of the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, have justified the actions they took in selling a radio spectrum worth N34 billion and paying a commission of N3.4 billion to the consultants, arguing that it was the best action taken to raise money for Digital Switch Over in Nigeria.

The members, including the former Director General of the commission, Emeka Mba, have been summoned to appear before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to answer questions on why they hastily paid out the sum of N3.4 billion to the technical consultant engaged by the board even before presidential approval was sought and obtained.

The others invited by the EFCC to appear this week, are: Professor Herbert Orji (Chairman), Mohammed Kabir Umar, Mike Iheanetu, Yakubu Busa Buji, Ebenezer Ayorinde, Isa Badamasi Dahiru, Prince Dennis Sam, Jude Nnodum, SAN, and Peter Dama; as well as Basil Udotai Esq., and Technology Advisors LLP. The members who wrote the EFCC through their lawyer, Chief Ogwu Onoja, SAN, of O.J. ONOJA (SAN) & ASSOCIATES, objected strongly to the approach adopted by the EFCC to invite them to answer to their actions while in office through the media, describing it as a media trial.

The members, whose appointments were terminated in July last year, said they should be given national honours for their ingenuity in raising the bar in digital transmission rather than being chastised through media trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

According the members, there was no scam whatsoever relating to the payment of the sum of N3.4 billion to the consultant as it represented only 10 percent of his professional fee, which was successfully reviewed downwards from the initial 20 percent which the consultant requested for.

They said: “Members of the commission remain proud of all the unprecedented accomplishments recorded in the NBC during their tenure, which have now propelled both NBC and the Nigerian broadcasting sector to national and international limelight.”

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