Isa Pantami, former Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, is still calling the shots at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) after ensuring that his son was secretly employed and resumed at the NCC office just beside his residence.
It was gathered that Pantami has been wielding a lot of influence at the NCC and manipulated the board’s Executive Vice-Chairman, Prof Umar Danbatta, because of many “shady records” between them.
SaharaReporters had in April reported that the NCC under Danbatta and Pantami was enmeshed in promotion scandal and secret recruitments as sources close to the board alleged favouritism and peddling of scores, especially against Danbatta.
Other top sources at that time had revealed how Danbatta and Pantami recruited children of influential politicians including that of the Gombe State governor.
“They did this secret recruitment, which is all in an effort for Pantami to gain favours so that the governor can lobby Tinubu to retain him,” the source said.
According to another competent source, Danbatta also allegedly helped one of his “girls”, Helen with the assistance of another board member from his state to secure promotion for the woman to the post of a director.
This was despite her coming second position in the interviewing process, even though other candidates had higher scores during the interview process.
In the latest development on Saturday, SaharaReporters learnt that Pantami and Danbatta had brought in the former’s son who had also resumed office.
Authoritative sources revealed further that Pantami had also been calling the shots at the NCC and influencing Danbatta’s decisions, despite having left the ministerial position.
“Pantami’s son has finally resumed after he (Pantami) left office. He instructed Danbatta the EVC to keep his son in the office in Kumasi Crescent in Wuse 2, just next to his house so that the boy can resume at his will. The boy has been assigned to the research department,” one of the sources disclosed.
“The staff who are the principle managers don’t even have desks in some cases but Pantami is still wielding his strength on Danbatta to influence things because he has many dirty secrets between him and Danbatta,” the source added.
It would be recalled that the same Danbatta had been bribing Seyi Tinubu, the president’s son, and also giving him contracts.
Recall last September SaharaReporters named Danbatta when it was reported that the then Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, awarded Value-Added Service contracts to himself, his godfather, Bola Tinubu and the late Isa Funtua, a long-time political associate of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
Investigations showed that Dare awarded the contracts, when he was the Executive Commissioner (Stakeholder Management) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Dare, a former spokesman of Tinubu, was appointed by Buhari as the South-West executive commissioner of the NCC in 2016.
He was however replaced with Adeleke Moronfolu Adewolu in 2019 after the President named him a Minister.
Others awarded the multi-billion naira projects by Dare included Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC) of the NCC, Naomi Adenuga, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, and others.
A top source had said, “The current Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare singled handedly gave some corrupt Nigerians the NCC licenses when he was the Executive Commissioner.
“He gave himself a slot, Naomi Adenuga for Glo, Bola Tinubu a slot, Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC) of the NCC a slot, Senator Ararume, late Isa Funtua, Abdurrahaman Ado Musa and his brother, Abdul Sallam Abubakar.
“They were all awarded the Value Added Service for the NCC. The use of USSD code; they generate at least N25billion naira per month. They are taking 90%, leaving the brain mind content provider with 10%.”