The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), the agency of government saddled with the task of regulating the film and video sector of the Nigerian economy, is currently enmeshed in a leadership scandal, VANGUARD has learnt.
The Executive Director of the NFVCB, Alhaji Adedayo Thomas, who was reappointed in April this year by the President Muhammadu Buhari is accused of unilaterally dissolving the agency’s governing council and barring members from accessing the premises.
In a petition dated December 3, 2021, and addressed to the President, it was also alleged that Thomas has been expending monies belonging to the Board without recourse to the NFVCB Act.
The petition, which was signed by the Secretary of the governing board, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar Katcha, is titled, ‘Compliant of Financial Malpractices and Misappropriations by the Executive Director, Adebayo Thomas of NFVCB’.
The petition read in part, “Your Excellency, in line with the Whistle Blowing policy of the present administration, we write to inform you about monumental financial recklessness by the Executive Director of the agency which is against the change mantra of your administration and war against corruption.
“The Executive Director has been expending funds meant to the agency and the Federal Republic of Nigeria at will recklessly and in some cases misappropriating same without recourse to the Governing Board and in total disregard to the financial rules and regulations applicable to the agency.”
They also urged the President to consider directing the anti-graft agencies to investigate this matter with a view to bringing to book anybody found culpable.
The governing board members also said they were ready to support the investigation by providing necessary information and documents.
In a separate statement which was made available to VANGUARD, three members of the governing board; Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar Katcha (Niger), Kehinde Soaga (Ogun), and Rauf Akano (Kwara) lamented their denial of access to the premises of the agency by security agencies allegedly acting on the instructions of the NFVCB Executive Director.
When contacted on the telephone on Saturday, the following conversation ensued between the ED of NFVCB and the reporter:
Reporter: Good evening, sir. I was calling you in respect of the allegations levied against you by the NFVCB governing board members. They have written a series of petitions accusing you of unilateral dissolving the board and of financial recklessness. I need your response/reaction to these allegations, sir.
ED: Thanks, when do you want to do your findings? I will arrive in Lagos tomorrow (Sunday) morning.
Reporter: I am in Abuja, sir. I will put a call through tomorrow (Sunday) for a telephone interview.
ED: Please let it be anytime from 10 am, but not later than 4 pm.
However, as of 5:28 pm on Sunday evening, the ED neither picked the calls made to his phone line by the reporter nor reacted to the allegations by the governing board members.