Wednesday November 30, 2022

NAB files reference against ex-premier Yousuf Raza Gilani

Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has filed a reference against former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani on charges of misuse of authority, Geo reported.

September 06, 2018

RAWALPINDI: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday filed a corruption reference against former Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani and others for allegedly misusing their authority in an illegal publicity campaign which caused millions of rupees loss to national exchequer.

The other accused persons are former Secretary Ministry ofInformation Technology, Farooq Awan, former Principal Information Officer (PIO), Press Information Department (PID), Muhammad Saleem,former Chief Executive Officer, Universal Services Fund (USF), Riaz Asher Siddiqui, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Midas, Inam Akbar, former Company Secretary USF, Syed Hasan and former PA to Public Relation Officer (PRO) Ministry of IT, Muhammad Hanif.

They all misused their authority in illegal publicity campaign through M/s Midas Pvt Ltd which caused loss to national exchequer.

As per details issued by NAB here, the accused Yousaf Raza Gillani (the then Prime Minister), also being Minister for InformationTechnology and as Chairman of Universal Services Fund (USF), directed USF Board on December 28, 2011 to run a media campaign for highlighting achievements of USF.

Former Secretary Ministry of IT, Farooq Awan, misused his authority in award of illegal publicity campaign through M/S Midas Pvt Ltd against rules and attempted to cause loss tonational exchequer.

CEO M/s Midas, Inam Akbar violated Press Information Department instructions and prescribed procedures regarding media campaigns and undertook entire electronic media campaign without getting any written orders (Release Order) neither from Ministry of IT nor from USF and served bill for payment.

The media campaign was launched by M/s Midas (Pvt) Ltd which was not on panel of USF, neither before, nor afterward.

However, it was manipulated by accused Riaz Asher Siddique, CEO USF to place it on panel in connivance with accused Muhammad Saleem, PIO in PID to legitimize media campaign and to facilitate payment of Rs. 128 million.

There was no competition held for formally awarding media campaign which was totally against PPRA rules and policy guidelines by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and PID.

The accused persons in connivance with each other processed for an ex-post facto approval by Board to legitimize payment to M/s Midas (Pvt) Ltd and to cause loss to national exchequer to tune of Rs. 128 million approximately.

However, due to timely cognizance by NAB, illegal payment was stopped to M/s Midas.

Reference was filed by NAB Rawalpindi before Judge Accountability Court, Islamabad.