The Director-General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Ishaq Kawu Modibbo, Pinnacle Communications Ltd, and two others, on Monday, told Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo- Giwa of the Federal High Court Abuja, that the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), has no case against them.
The defendants made the submission through their various lawyers while adopting their written addresses in respect of the no-case-submission they filed challenging the charge filed against them by the anti-corruption agency.
The defendants are being prosecuted over the N2.5 billion released to Pinnacle Communications under the approval of the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, under the Federal Government’s Digital Switch Over (DSO) project.
Adopting his no-case-submission dated December 16, 2019, Kawu’s (1st defendant) counsel, Abdullahi Mustapha (SAN) urged the court to discharge and acquit the 1st defendant of all the 3-count charge levelled against him by the state.
Mustapha submitted that the prosecution was unable to establish a prima facie case against the defendant and therefore cannot be asked to enter a defence.
Kawu’s counsel said none of the nine witnesses called by the prosecution was able to establish the ingredients of the offence to warrant the 1st defendant to enter a defence.
The 1st defendant’s lawyer posited that the burden of proof lies on the prosecution to discharge, adding that the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses were full of contradictions and doubts.
Moreso, Mustapha submitted that failure of the prosecution to call the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed to testify, being the person that gave the approval for the release of the fund was fatal to the case.
Similarly, counsel to the 2nd and 3rd defendants, Dr Alex Izinyon (SAN), in his submissions, urged the court to uphold his no-case submission dated December 17, 2019.
Izinyon said the prosecution failed to prove the essential ingredients outlined in sections 302 and 303 of ACJA, adding that the onus lies on the prosecution to prove its case and not the other way round.
Izinyon also noted that the prosecution did not make any move to correct the contradictions in the evidence of the witnesses.
He, therefore, urged the court to hold that the prosecution has failed to prove its case against the defendants and that they should be discharged and acquitted.
The 4th defendant represented by Ama Etuwewe (SAN) also urged the court to uphold Pinnacle’s no-case submission just as he adopted the submissions of counsel to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants.
Reacting, the prosecution counsel, Henry Emoreh urged the court to dismiss the no-case submission of the defendants, insisting that he was able to make a prima facie case against them.
He said there were no contradictions in the evidence of the witnesses, and that he has been able to link the defendants with the alleged offence.
After the adoption, the judge fixed March 26, for the ruling.