By Victory Oghene
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) (names withheld) is behind the recent move to relieve Mallam Modibbo Ishaq Kawu of his job as the director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
This recent move is not unconnected with Kawu’s alleged involvement in the renewal of GOTV license without carrying along the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
This is one of the reasons government nullified the licence granted to MultiChoice Nigeria Ltd, owners of GOTV.
It would be recalled that the NBC under the watch of Kawu had granted a three-year licence to MultiChoice Nigeria Ltd without allegedly getting approval from the supervising ministry.
This did not go down well with Lai Mohammed who announced the withdrawal of the license due to irregularities.
The minister took a stand on the matter via a letter dated March 29, 2019. He said:
“The decision to renew the GOTV licence for three years negates the position of the white paper on the DSO (Digital Switch Over), making it not only illegal but a willful disrespect for our laws and national institutions.
“Recall that the Ministerial Task Force on the DSO, which I chair, had specifically ruled that all Pay Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) companies would no longer be allowed to self-carry and would have to go to one of the two licenced signal distributors for that function.
“That decision was made based on the government white paper which puts signal distributors in charge of transmission and separates them from content providers.”
He added: “No part of the licence fees paid by MultiChoice Nigeria Ltd should be touched by the NBC until a negotiated agreement has been signed, subject to my approval.”
Those insinuating that Kawu’s present travail has to do with an alleged N2.5 billion fraud, are far from the truth.
‘Let me tell you, there is nothing like N2.5 billion fraud as far as the Digital Switch Over (DSO) project is concerned, the ICPC investigated and found out that Pinnacle Communications Ltd executed the project and that is why Pinnacle was exempted from the charges filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja. Those attributing Kawu’s travail to the N2.5billion are detractors,” said a stakeholder who does not want his name mentioned