The Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Emeka Mba, was on Monday detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after honouring the commission’s invitation.
NBC’s Head of Public Affairs, Awwalu Saliu, who confirmed the development to The Guardian on phone yesterday, said Mba actually honoured the EFCC’s invitation and was not arrested contrary to news making rounds on Monday.
Earlier, a source, close to the commission, informed our correspondence yesterday, that the anti-graft agency had been investigating the NBC in the past one month.
The source disclosed that the DG’s arrest could have been linked to a petition by some stakeholders over the commission’s handling of production of set-top-boxes for the country’s digitisation plan, scheduled for June 2017.
According to him, some stakeholders were angry over alleged lack of transparency and due process in the award of contract for the supply of set-top boxes for the digital switchover by the NBC.
He said the aggrieved parties claimed that the commission was favouring some organisations against others in the award of contracts for the production of set-top boxes.
Saliu, who admitted that Mba was invited by the EFCC over issues relating to the arrangement made by the NBC concerning the importation of set-top-boxes, further said: “The DG was not arrested. He went there this afternoon (yesterday), but yet to come back.
The issue is about set-up-boxes for the digital switchover plan. NBC had paid some companies to import set-top-boxes, but unfortunately, one of the companies was under EFCC’s investigation. So, in the course of EFCC’s investigation, they discovered that the company had been paid by NBC.
“This was the reason for the EFCC’s visit to NBC last week, but the DG was on leave then. So, the EFCC wrote a letter inviting the DG to visit them on his return from leave. So, when the DG came to office today, he went to EFCC’s headquarters to clarify the issues.”
Meanwhile, as at press time, the NBC boss was still with the EFCC officials but the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, could not be reached for confirmation of the report as his phone rang out several times without response.