Following heated controversies over frequency spectrum at the Nigerian Communications Commission, the Federal Government has sacked the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, Dr. Bashir Gwandu.
The sacking, which took effect from November 9, 2012, according to a statement by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, was for gross insubordination.
Anyim, in the letter titled, ‘Removal from office,’ said Gwandu’s allegations against the management of NCC were unfounded.
He said the allegations had been duly investigated by the board of NCC and the Ministry of Communication Technology, and were found to be false and unfounded.
NCC had for several months been in internal crisis occasioned by allegations of frequency racketeering made by Gwandu.
Frequency spectrum is the entire spectrum of electromagnetic frequencies used for communications. This includes frequencies used for radio, radar, television and telecommunications.
A source at NCC also confirmed that Gwandu was sacked for gross insubordination to the NCC Board, particularly the Executive Vice-Chairman, Dr. Eugene Juwah.
It had recently been reported that there were cracks among members at the top echelon of NCC following allegations that a particular frequency spectrum was sold at very meagre price by the current management of the commission.
Gwandu had raised allegations that corruption and illegality were being committed at the NCC with respect to the sale of frequency spectrum.
Gwandu could not be reached as at the time this report was filed as he refused to pick calls made to his mobile telephone lines.
Gwandu had alleged that NCC under Juwah, had sold the frequency band 450MHz valued at over $50m and occupied by the Nigeria Police Force since 2009 to a private company, Open Skys Limited, for less than $6m without any competitive bidding process as provided by the NCC Act, 2003.
Open Skys was also said to have paid for the frequency in two tranches of N592.4m and N300m on November 15, 2011 and July 6, 2011 respectively, totalling N892.4m.
The former commissioner said if the 450MHZ spectrum allocation to Open Skys was done openly by the NCC, the nation would have made over N7bn from the sale of the frequency spectrum.
Gwandu, who headed the Technical Division of the regulatory agency, had confirmed to journalists that he was the source of the leaked petition, which had dominated the media for about two months.
However, when our correspondent called his mobile phone on Tuesday, he did not respond.
The Head, Media and Public Relations, NCC, Mr. Reuben Muoka, had denied the allegation, saying that the frequencies allocated to Open Skys and Smile Communications were in two different bands, adding that due process was followed in allocating them.
Muoka said the frequency spectrum allocated to the Police was not in any way affected by the allocation.
He said the current NCC helmsman did not initiate the allocation of the aforesaid frequencies, having resumed in July 2010, whereas the process began since 2009.
“Even after resumption at the NCC, Juwah has strictly followed the due process of issuance of licences and frequencies,” he had said.
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