Nigeria, April 17 -- Lai Mohammed, Nigeria's information minister, has admitted he did not do due diligence before signing off on a controversial N2.5 billion payment to a private digital broadcast signal distributor.

Mr Mohammed told the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) that he only approved the payment based on the recommendation of the director-general of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in May 2017, according to those familiar with the investigation.

Anti-graft detectives at the ICPC have been investigating the transaction since June 2018. Already the ICPC has charged Modibbo Kawu, the DG of NBC, for allegedly deceiving Mr Mohammed to perpetrate the fraud.

Mr Kawu strongly denied the ...