Tribune newspapers release statement denying claims it received N10m compensation from Nduka Obaigbena
Nduka Obaigbena in a letter he sent to EFCC on December 9th, had alleged that the media house was one of the companies he in his capacity as the Chairman of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), gave N10 million as compensation received from the former administration after the military confiscated their dailies in June last year.
A statement signed by Tribune's Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Mr Edward Dickson, reads
“Our attention has been drawn to claims by the Publisher of Thisday newspapers, who is also the President of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, that a sum of N10 million was paid to our company through NPAN by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) as compensation for the disruption of our circulation operations, seizure of our newspapers and damage to our property by soldiers in June 2014. “Although, like other NPAN members, we filed claims as requested for by NPAN, the fact of the matter is that up till this moment, 11th December, 2015, our company is yet to receive a kobo as compensation through NPAN for the 2014 disruptive activities of the military to our operations.”This is the alleged letter Obaigbena sent to the EFCC and story below...
Chairman of Thisday newspaper, Nduka Obaigbena, has written a letter to EFCC officials, stating that he collected N550 million from the former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki as compensation for the Boko Haram suicide attacks on his Abuja office. Obaigbena has been indicted in the ongoing $2.1 billion arms deal scandal. In the letter he signed and dated December 9th, Oaigbena acknowledged he
received N120m from Dasuki which he distributed to some newspaper house as compensation for the confiscation of their newspapers by the Army in Junelast year. Read the letter he sent to EFCC after the cut
The Executive Chairman, The Economic & Financial Crimes C omission, 5, Fomella Street, Wuse 11, Abuja, Nigeria. Attention: OLAOLU ADEGBITE, MFR. RE: LETTER OF INVITATION. Please refer to your letter of invitation dated 8th November 2015, which was received in our Abuja Office on the 8th of December 2015. I am currently in the United States of America on my way back to Nigeria to honour your invitation, but I feel it necessary to make the following statements prior to my arrival in Nigeria:
1. We have never received any suspicious funds from the Office of the National Security Adviser. ALL funds received from the Office of the National Security Adviser were PAYMENTS for COMPENSATION to MITIGATE the following:
1.1. N150,000,000 + N150,000,000 and N250,000,000 respectively received in August, November and February 2014 as compensation to mitigate the dastardly Boko Haram twin bombings of the THISDAY NEWSPAPERS offices in Abuja and Kaduna on Thursday April 26, 2012, during which 4 innocent Nigerian lives were lost, our buildings destroyed and we lost full colour Goss printing towers and three (3) pre-press Computer-To-Plate and anxiliary equipments and other (in)valuable property valued at over N2.5 BILLION. This is aside from daily costs to pay 3rd party printers of over N1 Billion having lost our printing facility to terrorist due to inadequate protection by the Federal Government of Nigeria. The bombing of THISDAY offices followed the Abuja United Nations Building bombing for which the Federal Government has so far spent N3 Billion for reconstruction and much more earmarked for furnishing;
1.2. N100,000,000 and N20,000,000 received in March 2015 for The Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) and 12 newspapers who demanded compensation for the brutal and unlawful seizure of newspapers and stoppage of circulation by armed soldiers in Abuja and several cities. As President of the NPAN, it was my duty to lead media leaders to hold discussions with President Goodluck Jonathan to avert a class action lawsuit against the Armed Forces and the Federal Government of Nigeria. 2. On both occasions, President Jonathan said he did not wish to lay precedence and in our case, he specifically said there were many victims of Boko Haram. I had to confront President Jonathan on the issue when I learnt of approvals for the reconstruction of the Abuja United Nations Building, since we were the second major organisation to be attacked by Boko Haram after the UN attack. He therefore directed me to meet the National Security Adviser who processed the 3 payments in question.
Please find attached a copy of our letter to President Jonathan as well as correspondence with the then NSA on the Newspapers’ payment. I will be making my way to Nigeria to meet with you should you require further information. Thank you.
Nduka ObaigbenaChairman & Editor-in-Chief, THISDAY NEWSPAPERS GROUP