Vanguard (Lagos)

28 November 2012

Nigeria: Why Gwandu Was Sacked From NCC

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Axed Nigerian Communications Commissioner Bashir Gwandu

Lagos — The removal of the Executive Commissioner in charge of Technical Standards of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Dr Bashir Gwandu, may not be unconnected with false allegations over frequency spectrum allocation at the commission, and his alleged links with a group which attempted to indict President Goodluck Jonathan over waivers granted a telecom company acquired by AMCON.

The removal which was communicated to Gwandu in a memo dated November 26, 2012 with ref No SGF/6/S.12/C.4/III/653 from office of the Secretary to the Federal Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, stated that his removal was for gross misconduct.

The letter stated that allegations were levelled against Gwandu by the board of the commission, and upon further investigations by the committee set up by the Minister of Communications on behalf of the President, found him guilty of the charges.

The letter stated: "I am to inform you that based on the recommendations of the Disciplinary Committee, Mr. President has approved your removal from office for gross misconduct, with effect from9th November, 2012."

Vanguard's investigations revealed that the case against Gwandu began with his allegations suggesting racketeering at the Commission.

Gwandu was said to be the source of stories making the rounds in the media alleging that the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah and other ex-officials of the Commission had unilaterally issued a frequency slot belonging to the Nigeria Police to a private firm, OpenSkys Ltd, and also issued frequency slot to another company, Smile Communications, without due process, leading to sale of such frequencies below value.

However, it was found out in the course of investigations that Gwandu did not only make the said allegations, but also granted interviews to the media and circulated documents to amplify the allegations which the committee found to be false and unfounded.

The response by the NCC also indicated that the sales of the frequencies followed all the due processes and began before Juwah joined as the chief executive officer.

A source from the committee said Gwandu was unable to defend any of the allegations he made against the leadership of the Commission.

The allegation on the frequency belonging to the Police was also found to be untrue as the NCC had already issued appropriate frequencies to the Police, and that the process of the allocation began since 2009.

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