EFCC tackles Nigerian newspaper owners, attacks Thisday’s Obaigbena

Acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu
Acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday lashed out at the association of newspaper owners in the country, reprimanding them for allegedly deploying their “platform to pursue personal interests.”

In a statement signed by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, the anti-graft agency said the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria, NPAN, wrongly accused it of attempting to stifle free press in raiding the head office of The Sun Newspapers last week.

The anti-graft agency was responding to an advert which NPAN placed in THISDAY and Leadership Newspapers Monday, condemning the June 12 presence of anti-graft operatives at The Sun office, which is located in Apapa, Lagos.

“The manner of the invasion tends to suggest that the EFCC was out on a self-help mission, a voyage to intimidate journalists, criminalise journalism and cower free speech,” Mr. Uwujaren quoted the advertorial as stating.

The ‘invasion’ was also condemned by the Nigerian Union of Journalists and the Nigerian Guild of Editors who asked the anti-graft agency to apologise for its action.

The EFCC, however, denied the charge of media clampdown, saying NPAN was out to whip up undue sentiments for its own aggrandisement.

Mr. Uwujaren took specific aim at the NPAN boss, Nduka Obaigbena, stating that the newspaper proprietor was trying to seize the situation as a way of getting back at the agency’s acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu.

The EFCC briefly detained Mr. Obaigbena in 2016 over allegations that the journalist benefited from the $2.1 billion arms purchase scandal that rocked the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Mr. Obaigbena admitted he received up to N670 million from Sambo Dasuki, the former National Security Adviser at the heart of the alleged arms procurement fraud, but said a large chunk of it was meant as compensation for the 2012 Boko Haram attack at THISDAY bureau in Abuja.

Mr. Uwujaren, in his latest statement, said Mr. Obaigbena was still reeling from the action the anti-graft agency took against him last year, but said Mr. Magu will not be deterred in his quest to contain sharp practices across all sectors.

“If the EFCC has committed any sin against Obaigbena and some members of NPAN, it was in carrying out its statutory mandate of fighting corruption and ensuring that impunity was checked,” Mr. Uwujaren said. “It is no secret that some NPAN members are yet to forgive the Commission for the money recovered from them in the course of the ONSA investigation.”

“Nigeria is bigger than any individual and NPAN must be mindful not to allow members to hijack its platform to pursue personal interests,” he added.


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  • otunga

    Everybody in Nigeria is now above the law…democracy is not working

  • MilitaryPolice01

    I read through carefully to see if Uwajuren will state why they besieged The Sun. No mention of that, just the usual rubbish. Shouldn’t the right thing an institution should have done is to address the core issue for which the proprietors went to press. Anyone still in doubt as to how EFCC has been personalized should go to their official twitter handle and you will see the tone of their tweets and response – you will think it was an illiterate buffoon tweeting away his personal beliefs.

    • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

      Get up,you drowning already.

    • Mufu Ola

      So what’s wrong in “besieging” SUN if there is need to?

    • Man_Enough

      the important thing is that efcc has the right to “besiege” anywhere that is suspected to be contravening the financial law. weather they discovered anything incriminating is immaterial. and by the way, this forum is not a court of law for efcc to be giving details and excuses for their actions.

    • Sanssouci

      “Shouldn’t the right thing an institution should have done is to address the core issue for which the proprietors went to press”
      That’s the bottom line! even from the replies to your post you know that Magu has succeeded in muddling up issues.

      • MilitaryPolice01

        G, I deliberately ignored them, not that I can’t engage them fire for fire or intellect for intellect but why should I entertain charlatans who will rather twist facts to satisfy their idiocy

  • Patriot01

    The substance of the discussion is that NPAN and it’s cohorts have a case to answer if there’s any incling of misappropriation of money from where ever it’s coming from,and the law backs EFCC in doing that. Investigation.So far it has yeilded good result by Obaigbena admitting receiving the cash. Good job EFCC.

  • Tijani

    Well the EFCC has not denied raiding The Sun Newspaper’s premises, Wilson Uwajuren is just trying to distract the public from the EFCC’s sharp practixes and impunity.

    Come 2019, Nigerians will certainly hear about the way Magu squandered scarce public funds on bribing the press to carry fake news.

    • psammy

      Is there any crime in raiding SUN Newspaper’s premises? You guys just scream blue murder when they law catches up with you. All these so called associations are nothing but cabals.

  • Patrick Otobo

    Premium Times has become the propoganda outlet of Ibrahim Magu and EFCC as they are on retainership with them where they are paid monthly. Premium Times also benefited from Dasukigate using third party. PT should therefore make restitution first before talking about corruption. In the fullness of time, Premium Times and their dubious promoters will be exposed and they will face the full wrath of the law.

    • Uzoma John

      Keep quiet and speak with facts. The Nigerian space is filled with rogues crying wolf. If Sun Newspapers contravene the law or have petition against it contravening the law, EFCC should look the other way because it is part of the press. Let’s separate sentiment from lawlessness. Some of you guys here don’t have any job other than wait for the opportunity to cast this Govt that means well in bad light. What solution have you proffered towards moving Nigeria forward and freeing her of corrupt elements, which is our bane?

      • Patrick Otobo

        The way you have been proferring solutions! Focus on the issue and dont bring sentiments

    • Mufu Ola

      What exactly is your problem?

      • Patrick Otobo

        I have delivered my verdict!!! Focus on the ethical issues i raised against PT and not what my problem is.

  • Niger DELTA Arise!

    Niger Deltans ARISE,
    The following are the reasons we MUST demand and actualize our Niger DELTA Republic without delay. All Northerners and non Biafrans (SS+SE) must leave ND before Oct1, 2017…And below are the reasons

    1. 85% of the oil wells of the Niger Delta have been fraudulently acquired by Notherners…and nobody is probing it
    2. Contaminated water, air and even on the farm land.
    3. Every food grown is contaminated with cancer causing toxins from pollution
    4. Fish and other aquatic animals several kilometers away from the sea shores are contaminated too
    5. There is oil pollution and spillage everywhere in the Niger Delta.
    6. Nobody is prosecuting the foreign oil companies and their officials and Nigerian collaborators
    7. Why is Buhari not borrowing to clean up and rebuild the Niger Delta BUT borrowing to rebuild the North East?
    8. Oil spillage is everywhere. Ogoni, Bodo, Bonny & Eket fields etc remain polluted

    The people of the Niger Delta continue to be neglected. Their ecosystem is contaminated with killer cancer causing toxins poured into our rivers by Nigeria’s oil exploration.

    The recent Transparency International report states that every Niger Deltan adult is not likely to live beyond 45yrs. Why? Because he will die of one cancer or the other. But the Nigerian govt is doing nothing to clean up the Niger Delta. Our rivers all have black sandy beaches with repulsive and choking smell from toxins. This is war against our people and the Nigerian govt does not care.

    Arise! Arise!! Arise!!! It is time to actualize our own Niger DELTA Republic as formerly declared on February 23, 1966 by Isaac Adaka Boro and his brave team.

    • okpada

      You are just ranting for nothing, my bros.

  • Mufu Ola

    This EFCC statement is supported 100%. Nigeria media think they are above the law & any little tangle with ’em they start swinging from pole to pole blackmailing. Is SUN or any other newspaper above investigation?

    • Maverick

      When they’ll come for you, don’t cry.

      • Mufu Ola

        When you fall victim of newspaper blackmail, don’t yell!

        • Patrick Otobo

          Thank you for educating him.

      • Patrick Otobo

        Correct

  • CEO

    Maybe Wilson Uwujaren could be give a little break, since he has an impossible job. Trying to put a human face on a bull and screaming out your lungs, in an elusive effort to convince the public into accepting it as human, not withstanding that it is walking on four legs is no easy job. Now the bull has gotten even more restive for obvious reasons, and it is still Wilson’s job to keep screaming to the public that the bull, though walking on four legs, is a human being dancing due to excitement.
    This is the first part of the act of the first scene, more is underway.

  • Man_Enough

    another hydra headed monster that is threatening enforcement of law and order in nigeria is the satanic fraternity between same professions. simply because a newspaper house is accused, the remaining members of the nigerian newspaper owners have to fly to fly to its defense not minding the damage being done to nigeria as a country. nigeria is larger than any sub unit.

  • Tommy Soto

    The Fourth Estate, aka journalism organizations are not above the law in this climate of thievery, political bribes, and an ineffectual judicial system.

    Keep fighting Corruption wherever you find it mighty EFCC officials and officers. You are on a divine mission from the Most High to root out the kleptomania plague from the land!

    • KBE

      Go after the likes of Tinubu and we will take you serious.

      • Tommy Soto

        Sure, no one is above the law.

        If you have fresh evidence to present to the EFCC then go ahead and submit it. I’m hearing the whistle blower fund pays a handsome reward these days.

  • Spyman29

    I am with EFCC on this. These journalists are shit