Justice F.O. Giwa of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered that Ishaq Kawu, Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), must appear before the court to defend himself over an alleged diversion of N2.5billion from the N10billion released for the Ministry of Information and Culture for the DSO programme.

Kawu is standing trial alongside Lucky Omoluwa, Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Limited, and Dipo Onifade, Chief Operating Officer of Pinnacle Communications Limited, over their role in the release of the fund.

They are facing a 12-count charge bordering on “abuse of office, money laundering and misleading a public officer with the intent to defraud the federal government, in contravention of Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”

Kawu had failed to appear in court, claiming he is indisposed.

His absence at the court prompted Justice Giwa to order that Kawu “must appear at the court at the next date, even if he will be brought on a stretcher".

In 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari released N10billion to the Ministry of Information and Culture for the DSO programme and a White Paper was issued directing how the process should be executed.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) had claimed that Kawu fraudulently recommended Pinnacle Communications Limited, a private company, to the Minister of Information and Culture, for the release of N2.5billion against the guidelines contained in the White Paper.

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