A seeming rift or infighting between the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Is’haq Modibbo-kawu has ballooned into the ‘Next Level’.
DAILY NIGERIAN observed that unlike preceding years, the minister was conspicuously absent during today’s annual lecture of the NBC.
Our correspondent, however, gathered that while the annual lecture was going on, the minister called a press conference to address an already staled issue of an English court ruling over plans to seize about $9.6 billion in Nigerian assets over a botched contract.
It was also observed that when the head of agencies under the information and culture ministry paid a Mr Mohammed a congratulatory visit, a few days after he was sworn-in, the minister and NBC DG were seen evading eye-contacts during deliberations.
According to a source at the NBC headquarters, the minister had withdrawn himself from the activities of the commission, unlike before when he used to dictate to the DG.
The source added that, if not for Mr Modibbo-Kawu’s influence and connection at the presidency, the minister would have since recommended for his suspension pending the conclusion of the case.
“Kawu is a Kaduna-boy. He is very close to Abba Kyari and the National Security Adviser Monguno. So, the minister can’t do anything until the conclusion of the ICPC’s investigation,” the source said.
Recall that the minister and the NBC DG had been embroiled in an alleged N2.5 billion Digital Switch-Over, DSO contract scam which is currently before the Independent Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC.
While the minister claimed that he was ill-advised into signing the contract, the DG apportioned the largest part of the blame to the minister who signed the contract.
However, DAILY NIGERIAN correspondent is yet to get reactions from the minister’s Chief Press Secretary, Joe Mutah, who promised to get back to us.