FACT CHECK: Was Idachaba sacked as NBC DG?

Armstrong Idachaba National Broadcasting Commission NBC

The Federal Government of Nigeria has appointed Balarabe Ilelah as director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Minister of information and culture Lai Mohammed announced the appointment in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday.

Mr Ilelah’s appointment is for a tenure of five years in the first instance.

The announcement of a new director-general was widely interpreted as sack of Professor Armstrong Idachaba who had been director-in-charge of the NBC since February 14, 2020.

Contrary to general belief, Ilelah’s appointment does not mean Idachaba’s sack.

Speaking with Qed.ng on Friday, Segun Adeyemi, spokesman to Mr Mohammed, said Idachaba took over the running of NBC as the most senior director following the suspension of the last substantive director Modibbo Kawu for alleged financial impropriety.

“It is almost automatic in the public service that the most senior director takes over in the absence of a substantive head of an agency.

“Prof Idachaba was not appointed ‘acting director-general’ of the NBC. He was ‘director-in-charge’.

“He has not been sacked. He simply reverts to his office with the appointment of a substantive director-general,” Mr Adeyemi told this online news medium.

A senior staff of the ministry who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity added that “Prof Idachaba was not sacked. He became acting DG NBC as the most senior director in the NBC after Mallam Kawu was suspended. The government has only just appointed a substantive DG with the expiration of Kawu’s appointment.

“Prof Idachaba will return to his position as director of enforcement. It is actually not all the time that you are moved from acting position to substantive position. Although it would have been good to recognise his hard work with the appointment.”