Pinnacle Communications Limited, an indigenous Digital Switch Over firm, has lost its Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Sir Lucky Omoluwa, aged 66.
Dipo Onifade, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
The statement said: “With a heavy heart we announce the passing onto glory of the Founder and Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Limited, Sir Lucky Omoluwa on Tuesday, February 18, after a brief illness.
“Sir Omoluwa , who was full of life, had his breakfast around 9am the same day and was preparing for his usual busy daily activities before the unfortunate incident.
“In an environment where honesty and forthrightness are increasingly fading from noble men, Sir Lucky Omoluwa consistently demonstrated the highest values in business, integrity, forthrightness and loyalty to just courses.
“A fighter who never wavered from the path of truth nor backed down from his firm belief in fighting for what is right irrespective of circumstances.
“He will be greatly missed on this side of the divide. His touches of excellence, swift wit, large heart, deftness, unwavering loyalty to relationships and boundless charm will always be with us.”
Onifade explained that the deceased, who was born March 6, 1954 and bestowed with the United Nation Peace Ambassador, was an illustrious entrepreneur.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Omoluwa was also the founder of Pinnacle Investments Limited, The Centagon International School and Tarmac Works Limited respectively.
He added: “As Chairman of Pinnacle Communication Ltd, he brought the most needed revolution to the broadcast engineering industry in Nigeria whilst representing Harris Corporation (now Gates Air), the largest manufacturers of Radio and Television transmitters in the World.
“Sir Omoluwa has leveraged on his dexterity in wireless engineering to ensure that Pinnacle Communications wins a Carrier License for Broadcasting Signal Distribution (BSD), made available by the Federal Government of Nigeria for transition from analogue to digital broadcasting.”
NAN recalls that the deceased was in 2012 awarded a Special Congressional Recognition by the US Congress in Washington DC.
Omoluwa had consistently won international awards across four continents in Global Best Business Practices, Outstanding Performances, Outstanding Commitment to Business Ethics, Outstanding Trade Contributions among others.
The late business mogul was also a recipient of Dr. Kwameh Nkrumah Merit Award.
Omoluwa, a devoted Catholic and a member of the Religion of Peace, New York, US, was Knighted by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.
Onifade added: “With an alloyed love for the game Golf, he enthusiastically promoted the game through sponsorship of amateur and professional competitions in Nigeria.
“He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Kaduna Golf Club, The Prestigious IBB Golf club and the Country Club, Abuja.
“The Patron of Nigerian- American Chamber of Commerce, Kaduna touched many lives. Everyone who came in contact with him can attest with life changing stories.
“Sir Lucky Omoluwa has written his name in history with the stylus of diamond.
“He has made an indelible mark on who we are today; we will keep his legacy of selfless service, outstanding stewardship, unusual simplicity and integrity flourishing and glowing.”
Onifade explained that Omoluwa was survived by his wife, Nosen, children and grandchildren.
NAN reports that Omoluwa’s popularity in the media space grew in leaps and bounds when the Federal Government instituted a criminal suit against Pinnacle Communications over alleged impropriety in the payment of N2.5 billion seed grant for the Digital Switch Over contract the firm won.
The deceased and other defendants in the suit had described the action as inconsistent with the White Paper that guided the Digital Broadcasting Switch-Over project.
NAN recalls that the Federal High, Abuja on February 10 fixed March 26 to rule on a motion of no-case-submission filed by Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Modibo Kawu, over this acclaimed inordinate disbursement of N2.5 billion Federal Government Digital Switch Over project fund.
Pinnacle Communications, Omoluwa and Onifade were the others whose similar motions would be decided on the next adjourned date.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission had in a 12-count charge accused them of abuse of office, money laundering and misleading a public officer with the intent to defraud the federal government.
According to the anti-graft body, the alleged offences were in contravention of Section 26 (1) (c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under Section 19 of the same law.
Dr. Alex Izinyo (SAN), Counsel for both Omoluwa and Onifade, averred that the prosecution had failed to meet the minimum standard in criminal prosecution, adding that no criminal actions had been linked with his clients.
Izinyon explained that Sections 302 and 303 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act made it easier for the court to consider the merit of this case.
The counsel for Omoluwa had said it was not enough to prove a mere prima facie in criminal trial, adding that all evidence must be proven beyond reasonable doubt.
He said: “The burden of proof lies with the prosecution and not the defendants as they have done in this regard.
“The prosecution has in this instance asked us to prove out guilt.
“From the surface meaning of the charge, the prosecution fails to establish the nucleus of the offences, but went ahead to rob my clients with an offence of conspiracy.
“How could the prosecution claim that the applicants conspired when the root of the main offence is yet to be ascertained?
“The question to be asked is: what exactly is the offences of my clients?
“The prosecution team was unable to establish my clients’ offences before they went on to close their case.
“It is on the strength of this that we pray the court to uphold our no-case-submission.”