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Dokpesi Fumes, Says APC Chieftain, Kawu, NBC D-G Wants Private Media Dead



Alleging political partisanship and his indictment for corruption, founder of African Independent Television, AIT and Raypower Radio, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi on Thursday called for the immediate removal of Ishaq Modibo Kawu from office.

At a world press conference where he also alleged a threat to his life, he alleged serial intimidation of the country’s pioneer private radio and television stations, Dokpesi said that Modibo’s unflinching loyalty to the All Progressives Congress, APC and the corruption trial he is presently facing, make him ineligible to head the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC.

He spoke against the background of communication from the regulator which among others alleged that AIT and Raypower were partisan in their broadcasts.

Besides, he also accused Modibo of raising the bar for private stations with a N500 million licence fee and refusal to allow AIT open new stations in Awka, Sokoto and Yola despite its global licence granted by Gen. Sani Abacha’s regime.

Alleging partisanship on the part of the regulator, he said:

“​I cannot ignore that our regulator, the NBC today is under the leadership of a partisan politician. Ishaq Moddibo Kawu, the Director General of the NBC, was an aspirant of the APC for the governorship of Kwara State before the recently concluded general elections in Nigeria. Is he in a position to regulate freely and fairly? Is he devoid of partisan interest in regulating the industry? The fact that he lost his primaries and returned to resume as DG of the NBC is in itself despicable,” Dokpesi said.

“Ishaq Moddibo Kawu, was dragged to court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, on a 12-count-charge bordering on fraud in the digital switchover project of the Federal Government and members of his management at NBC have testified against him openly in court.

“Can this man remain independent of external and clandestine influences? Can the scandal he is embroiled in be used to influence his performance as a regulator? Is it possible that he will go the extra mile over and beyond the powers of the NBC to gain favour from politicians and powers who may have influence on whether to retain him as DG and offer him a soft landing on the charges before him? Is he a fit and proper person with the interest of the industry at heart to lead the regulatory body?

In justifying the station’s broadcast of the administration’s activities, he said:

“If we are critical of this administration’s commitment to nationhood and the principles of fairness, equity and justice for the various ethnic nationalities that make up the configuration of Nigeria, it is because the principle of federal character has been fragrantly ignored in the appointments of this administration and the remarks of principal officers of this government point to a lopsided bias in favour of regions from which votes were generated rather than showing leadership to all.

“If we are critical of this government’s commitment to the tenets of democracy, it is because we have witnessed unabated interferences, harassment and intimidation by the agencies under the executive arm of government on the institutions of democracy and their principal officers. This include the leadership of the National Assembly, the Judiciary and now the Fourth Estate of the realm.”

Noting the challenges supposedly set against it by Kawu, he continued:

“in spite of a global broadcast network license granted to DAAR Communications Plc by General Sanni Abacha administration in 1994, the DG of NBC has stalled the commissioning of our stations in Yola, Awka and Sokoto since 2016 by fragrantly refusing the Commission’s engineers to inspect the fully built and equipped broadcast facilities for radio and television. The DG of NBC falsely accuses DAAR Communications Plc of being indebted to the commission for a license fee to the tune of N500 million.

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