N2.5b ‘fraud’: Firm faults ICPC’s claim on invasion of its Abuja premises

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The management of Pinnacle Communications Limited has faulted the claim of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) that its officials erroneously invaded the firm’s Abuja office.

Pinnacle is being tried with its Chairman, Lucky Omoluwa, and the firm’s Chief Operating Officer, Dipo Onifade, as well as the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Is’haq Modibo Kawu, at a Federal High Court in Abuja over alleged fraud in the handling the of N2.5 billion.

The money, the prosecutor said, formed part of the seed grant for the Digital Switch-Over (DSO) project of the Federal Government.

On January 21, this year, Pinnacle raised the alarm about the invasion of its Abuja office by ICPC operatives in an attempt to arrest its chairman.

The firm’s lawyer, Abayomi Oyelola, claimed that rather than await the conclusion of the case in court, the ICPC sent its officials to invade the firm’s premises on January 15, 2020, with the intention of forcefully arresting its chairman, who is a defendant in the case at the Federal High Court.

But earlier this week, the ICPC admitted that though its officials invaded Pinnacle’s office, it was in error.

Pinnacle, in a statement on Wednesday by Oyelola, said it was not surprised with ICPC’s responses on January 24 and 27, 2020, denying the brazen unlawful attitude of its operatives the management briefed reporters about.

“The commission’s claims in the said responses are grossly inaccurate, misleading and aimed to hurt Pinnacle’s impeccable image known to all and sundry.

“ICPC, in its responses, admitted the dastardly act of its operatives but claimed the action taken was precipitated by the requests of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to the commission to investigate a case of tax evasion it alleged against Pinnacle Communications.

“For the record, Pinnacle Communications is not a tax defaulter in any way. The company’s tax papers are up to date. This is easy for the commission to verify. So, ICPC lied by claiming that its men were at Pinnacle’s office on tax issue.

“Pinnacle Communications is both a respectable and humble entity with strong beliefs in the assuaging power and effect of an apology from anyone and entity that has disparaged it.

“We, therefore, encourage the commission, since it has admitted the invasion to swallow the proverbial humble pie and tender an apology as Pinnacle Communications demands.

“We hope our admonition will be respectfully considered by letting wise counsel prevail in order to avoid endless and or unnecessary and costly litigation which will ensue, leading ICPC to squandering tax payers’ money.”

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