The Director General of Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), who recently released a new year message which he ended by wishing all Nigerians a prosperous and peaceful new year has ironically found himself in a ‘not-so-peaceful’ situation. The Nigeria of today is gradually transforming into a country where accountability and transparency will soon be a watch-word especially in strategic public offices like the NBC, thanks to the present administration.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) whose responsibility is to investigate all financial crimes, has been on top of their game since the inception of the Buhari administration in 2015, and so far, they have been able to carry out their functions without fear or favour.
For reasons best known to the EFCC, they chose to turn their lights on the NBC and on Monday 11th January, 2016, NBC Director General, Emeka Mba was nabbed according to different media reports. Those who have been on the trail of the investigation revealed that the EFCC had been conducting their investigations on the NBC for the past one month.
In order to leave no stone unturned, last week, EFCC officials stormed NBC headquarters and went through the computers and files in the accounts department. It was also reported that in line with their duty, some workers in the aforementioned department were whisked away for questioning. According to sources, the arrested NBC staff made revelational statements to the EFCC incriminating Mr. Mba and some other high level officers of the NBC.
As a result of the preceding events, Mr. Mba was arrested in Abuja on Monday over an unproven N15 billion fraud and taken to the EFCC Headquarters in Wuse zone 2, Abuja for interrogation.
The head of public affairs at the NBC, Mr. Awwalu Salihu, stated with assurance that the news of Mr. Emeka being with the EFCC was true, but refuted the idea that he was arrested.
Salihu claims that Mba went over to the EFCC headquarters of his own free will to honor an invitation sent to him by Commission.
The spokesperson for EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said he could not make any comments on the story because he was on an official duty in Lagos and had not been briefed on the matter.
On the other hand, a high ranking official of the anti-corruption agency asserted: “Yes, he (Mr. Mba) is with us. We are investigating massive diversion of public funds and we’re making progress. Mba definitely has questions to answer.”
As at this time, the actual reason for Mr. Mba’s detention is still under speculation. A report from Guardian says:
“…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.”
While the ThisDay Live reports that he was arrested for “allegedly concealing N15 billion that the Commission was meant to transfer to the Treasury Single Account (TSA).”