The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has charged the Federal Government to immediately prosecute the former Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, over his alleged role in the reported National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, N2.5 billion fraud.
PDP made the call in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan and issued yesterday night.
The former ruling party also called for the immediate prosecution of the sacked Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Prof. Usman Yusuf, over allegations of misappropriation of N919 million as exposed by a ministerial panel.
PDP stated that both Mohammed and Yusuf must not be left off the hook because of their affiliation with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Presidency.
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It insisted that Mohammed should be prosecuted alongside the already docked Director General of the NBC, Alhaji Modibbo Kawu, following his statement at the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC).
PDP reminded Nigerians that the ICPC had already indicated, in a press release, that Mohammed admitted in a statement to it, that he was “misled” by the Director General of the NBC, who was his subordinate, into approving the payment of the N2.5 billion to a private company.
According to the ICPC,
“the former minister’s involvement had come under questioning following the discovery by the ICPC, during investigations, that a government White Paper that governs the execution of DSO program was allegedly flouted by the head of the NBC.
“Mohammed had however admitted in a statement to the commission that he was misled by Kawu…”
However, Ologbondiyan, in its statement said:
“Our party, therefore, insists that since the ICPC holds that the former minister’s involvement had come under questioning, he should be made to explain himself in the dock, not as a witness but as a defendant in the matter.
“This is a former minister who was in a haste to publish names of innocent Nigerians as looters just because they are members of the PDP, while a humongous fraud simmered under his nose.
“Furthermore, the PDP states that the dismissal of the NHIS boss has also vindicated its position that billions of naira belonging to the Scheme and meant for the health needs of Nigerians was being frittered.”
The Party, therefore, stated that Prof. Yusuf must be prosecuted in order to track and recover the over N25 billion allegedly siphoned from the account of the Scheme in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) to service APC interests.