Why we accepted N120million from ex-NSA Dasuki, Newspaper proprietors

Nduka Obaigbena, Chairman of Leaders & Company Limited, which runs THISDAY Newspaper titles and Arise TV Network

The Newspapers Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, NPAN, has dissociated itself from the alleged unlawful diversion of $2.1 billion meant for the procurement of arms by the immediate National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

In a statement released after an expanded executive meeting of the association, NPAN said the N120million it received from the office of the NSA under Mr. Dasuki was compensation for seizure and disruption of newspapers circulation by security forces between June 6 and June 8, 2014.

The organisation said since the office of the NSA covers security matters, it did not consider receiving the compensation from it, as unusual.

“Member newspapers that received money, could not have any suspicion why it was paid from the office of the former National Security Adviser since the onslaught on newspapers was carried out by the security forces over which the office of the NSA, to some extent, superintended,” the statement released after the meeting and signed by the association’s deputy president, Kabir Yusuf, and general secretary, Comfort Obi, stated.

The revelation that the association’s president, Nduka Obaigbena, received N120 million to be shared by 12 newspapers whose circulation were disrupted has caused some wrangling within the association with some of the listed beneficiaries distancing themselves from the payment.

The Sun newspaper, which said it was paid only N9 million, said it refunded the payment to NPAN after the source of the money became clear, and that it was talking legal action to get payment for its losses during the military siege on newspapers.

Last Friday, the Punch newspapers said it was suspending its membership of the NPAN following the revelation that “the sum of N120 million was disbursed in murky circumstances to some member-companies of NPAN, ostensibly as compensation for the losses they incurred in June 2014 when armed soldiers seized newspapers and newspaper distribution vans”.

Just like Mr Obaigbena explained in a letter responding to the invitation of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission over the matter, NPAN stated that the 12 affected agreed to collect the money instead of challenging the seizure of their paper in court and actually submitted claims of losses they incurred.

“Amidst this tension, and perhaps to stem the spate of multiple litigation against the security agencies and the Federal Government, the then President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, decided to hold a meeting with the executives of NPAN on June 12, 2014, at the State House, Marina, Lagos. At this meeting, the president apologised for the infraction of press freedom and the disruption of the business rhythm of our members,” the statement read.

“This was well received by our members. In recognition of the president’s gesture, one of our executive officers, Lady Maiden Ibru, spoke in favour of the Association dropping the demand for compensation. But because some members wanted to seek redress in court, it was decided to pursue a civil resolution of the matter.

“The Federal Government and the NPAN agreed to settle the matter out of court. In consequence of this, members were requested to submit a statement of their losses for consideration.

“All active member newspapers submitted their claims, with some as low as a few hundred thousand Naira and others running into hundreds of millions.

“With no easy way to verify these widely divergent claims, the Association leadership accepted the offer from the government, of a flat rate of N10 million to each of the 12 media houses affected. The total amount came to N120 million.

“Having suffered a lot of harassment during the military era, with some cases still winding their way through our courts, members agreed to a reasonable settlement over prolonged confrontation.

“Most of our members duly collected the compensation in good faith. Meanwhile, the cheques for The Guardian, Tribune and Peoples Daily, are still with our Secretariat.

“Member newspapers that received money, could not have any suspicion why it was paid from the office of the former National Security Adviser since the onslaught on newspapers was carried out by the security forces over which the office of the NSA, to some extent, superintended, it explained.

According to the statement, the following members of NPAN attended the meeting:

Sam Amuka Life Patron, NPAN

Ismaila Isa Life Patron, NPAN

Segun Osoba Past President, NPAN

Ray Ekpu Past President, NPAN

Kabiru Yusuf Deputy President/ Chairman, Media Trust

Comfort Obi General Secretary/ Publisher, The Source Magazine

Maiden Ibru Treasurer/ Publisher, Guardian Newspapers

Sam Nda-Isaiah Chairman, Leadership Group

Nwadiuto Iheakanwa Ex-officio member/ Group Managing Director,

Champion Group

Idi Farouk Chairman, New Telegraph Newspapers

Gbenga Adefaye GM/Editor-in-Chief, Vanguard Newspapers

Alexander Thomopulos Chief Operating Officer, Guardian Newspapers

Ted Iwere Managing Director, Independent Newspapers

Nosa Igiebor President/CEO, Tell Communications Limited

Eniola Bello Managing Director, This Day Newspapers

Funke Egbemode Managing Director, New Telegraph Newspapers

Toke Alex-Ibru Executive Director, The Guardian Newspapers

Ayo Arowolo Editor-at-Large,This Day Newspapers

Feyi Smith Executive Secretary, NPAN


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  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    The Thisday newspapers CEO Nduka Obiagbena-with his ugly fatty unhealthy shape is really sick and he and his corrupt looters/embezzlers/thievs of our commonwealth should be dealt with accordingly.They are criminals including the former national security adviser,Col.Sambo Dasuki and AIT owner Raymond Dokpesi.Their newspapers and Television station assets should be confiscated.

  • Maitama Tambari

    Clever by half. 2015 General Election payment was the cause not compasation. That is not smartness, silence is more honorable than lies because time will erase the silence but the lies will continue to adore the Association and sooner or later, the truth will come out of the mouth of the members of the Association. This is Nigeria because those cheater will cry foul.

    • Okolo

      Like the way Buhari cleverly avoided any comment to date on the Zaria killings and torture and secret detention of El-Zackzacky. What a shame.

  • Bayo Ola

    What a load of bunkum! When does the Office of the National Security Adviser become an Insurance company to mitigate losses for these newspaper owners? I used to think that these people are very smart? I guess they are just book smart, or playing on our inteligence here. Even if their warped line of reasoning justifies accepting a “gift” from a government you will be criticising in your line of duty, why did they not make this “donation” public until the lid was blown open during this Dasuki investigation? These people should just disappear from our consciousness with their tattered image left for goodness sake. Any attempt to continue to justify these thefts will continue to backfire. Please return our money to our treasury just like the Sun newspaper did and vamoose from our consciousness!!

    • Spikey

      Vamoose? I wish I could ask worse. This defense is like shooting someone and going to stab the dead body. I find it difficult to believe that a people can be so corrupt in their DNA that it is difficult to find a nucleus of reasoning within their souls. What balderdash defense. I hate these NPAN people passionately – they fully represent journalism in nigeria, sorry to say. To think families are not going to spend Christmas together due to loss of loved ones from kidnapping, rape, torture or simply merciless killings; and these pigs collected and shared funds meant to help prevent further pain and death. I am so deeply hurt.

  • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

    Blame the Yorubas ati Fulanis who reward dangerous, insensitive, dishonest, mean, cruel, partial, egoistic, religious, fundamendalist, conscienceless human being like MOHAMMADU BUHARI with the presidency of Nigeria. Aware of his kind of track record, then why do we still wonder why Nigeria has not and will not make it to the promised land with Buhari as president? Buhari who is an oligarch and does not believe in equality before the law? The way he jailed Lateef Jakande, Jim Nwobodo, Ambrose Ali, Pa Adekunle Ajasin, Chief Ayo Ojewumi on cases that had no foundation and allowed Awwal Ibrahim, the then Niger State governor, who was arrested in Heathrow Airport in London with 14 million pounds sterling and several millions of Niara and dollars to be under house arrest alone is enough to tell us Buhari is a monster. He also allowed Shehu Kangiwa, Sokoto State Governor who conducted and supervised the famous Bakolori Massacre of poor peasant farmers whose land were appropriated without compesation to go free–Is that the type of person Nigerians should show respect to?

    • Julius

      you are a mental case.

  • Burning spear

    Buhari is just trying to use—the office of the National Security Adviser NSA–Dasuki, to Score Cheap political points for the Apes in APC—–Look my friend-if the office of the NSA, cannot disburse funds over what constitutes security threat to the Nation————then which Agency should-in Nigeria?–The Central Bank of Nigeria under the Emir of Kano abi? Why did Buhari not reject the vehicles made available to him–by Dasuki-also-Why did he not reject the 300,000 blood money that he collected—–from Dasuiki ati Jonathan?———The owners of the newspapers suffered lot of fianancial loses—following the confiscation of their dailies by soldiers———-And Jonathan in his kindness, directed his NSA to pay conpensation to the owners–Nigerians are now saying it wrong because the money came from Ijaw man Jonathan—Whose oil recources been stolen to feed Nigeria from 1960 to date–Separation is the only way out–If the Ijaw nation thinks foolsihly that their salvation, lies in Nigeria then they would be day dreaming–I predicted it long before Jonathan left power–that Ijaws should wait until Jonathan leaves power—-then would they know khaki no be leather—Nigeria does not need the ijaws nation period- The ongoing trial of that ethnic Ijaw group is enough warning–to them–pack and go! Leave Nigeria for the Fulanis and Yorubas ati their Ibo surrogates-

  • Burning spear

    Only fear would make the moaning mourners in APC delete comments that are not favourable to them

  • Burning spear

    Buhari is just trying to use—the office of the National Security Adviser NSA–Dasuki, to Score Cheap political points for the Apes in APC—–Look my friend-if the office of the NSA, cannot disburse funds over what constitutes security threat to the Nation————then which Agency should-in Nigeria?–The Central Bank of Nigeria under the Emir of Kano abi? Why did Buhari not reject the vehicles made available to him–by Dasuki-also-Why did he not reject the 300,000 blood money that he collected—–from Dasuiki ati Jonathan?———The owners of the newspapers suffered lot of fianancial loses—following the confiscation of their dailies by soldiers———-And Jonathan in his kindness, directed his NSA to pay conpensation to the owners–Nigerians are now saying it wrong because the money came from Ijaw man Jonathan—Whose oil recources been stolen to feed Nigeria from 1960 to date–Separation is the only way out–If the Ijaw nation thinks foolsihly that their salvation, lies in Nigeria then they would be day dreaming–I predicted it long before Jonathan left power–that Ijaws should wait until Jonathan leaves power—-then would they know khaki no be leather—Nigeria does not need the ijaws nation period- The ongoing trial of that ethnic Ijaw group is enough warning–to them–pack and go! Leave Nigeria for the Fulanis and Yorubas ati their Ibo surrogates-

    • scimitar

      You have been noisy for the last 2 years. It will not change our resolve and the mandate given to Buhari. Continue having your say while genuine majority will continue to have their way

    • Mentor

      Go and read Osuntoku’s article on PDP’s Annual Horribilis in ThisDay. He is a staunch supporter of PDP.

  • Du Covenant

    “Member newspapers that received money, could not have any suspicion why
    it was paid from the office of the former National Security Adviser
    since the onslaught on newspapers was carried out by the security forces
    over which the office of the NSA, to some extent, superintended,”…..to call this a load of rubbish is an under statement. No matter how much you attempt to glorify your devlish actions, it is abundantly clear you are part of the problem we have in Nigeria and that is CORRUPTION!. My immediate question is, if this was a legitimate compensation, why was it conducted in so much secrecy?, if we didn’t have Buhari as the President with the GUTS to challenge all evilmen and women in our society, would we have ever learned about this crime?. The Chibok girls parents were vilified not compensation for negligence directly attributed to the government of the day and the NSA, thousands of Nigerians have been killed in cold blood who cares?. You claim to be private businesses without the prerequisite insurance and get stolen money from a very corrupt government, what type of businesses are you?…Just asking/

    • Spikey

      Thank you for your comment. Your last sentence summarizes it all. A private business with no insurance? On what legal grounds do you claim compensation from a 3rd party. I am so thoroughly disgusted by the defense put forward by these thieves. Now I wish we had a jury system of criminal justice in Nigeria, I wont hear any further. Guilty as charged!

      • No Bull …..

        Even better, I wish we had Chinese style justice system.

      • Julius

        wells said. Respect !

  • REDEEM

    The THIRD Force, a coalition of young Nigerian politicians and professionals committed to the birth of a new Nigeria, has condemned in strong terms a banquet organized on Tuesday by Aisha Buhari, wife of President Muhammadu Buhari for some “Social Media Change Agents”.

    In a statement delivered by email to The Trent on Wednesday, December 23, 2015 by the spokesperson of The THIRD Force, Ishaq Abubakar, the group described the banquet as morally repugnant and a slight on the sensibilities of Nigerians in a trying moment of economic depression, insecurity and acute poverty.

    According to the statement, “The THIRD Force considers it morally repugnant and a slight on the sensibilities of Nigerians that at a time when over 2,000 Nigerian lives have been reportedly wasted and unaccounted for in the Zaria Shia massacre; at a time when Nigerians are confronted with severe economic hardship, fuel scarcity and Nigeria’s worst ever crash of the Naira against the dollar; at a time when Nigerians are groaning under the yoke of what may be the worst Christmas celebration ever; at a time when the scourge of Boko Haram attacks have overwhelmed the capacity of our military to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria Aisha Buhari, the wife of the Nigerian president is throwing a lavish party that was not only obscene in its opulence, but callous, wicked and insensitive to the plight of millions of deprived Nigerians who are bearing the brunt of this government’s record cluelessness, lack of direction, and phantasmagoric policies.

    “What exactly are we celebrating? Has President Buhari’s government achieved so much that a party of rice, pounded yam, fruit juices and malt drinks organized for starving youths of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party is the priority of the moment? What happened to the IDP camps with millions of displaced Nigerian citizens who have been reduced to beggars by a government that failed them?
    “Under Buhari, Nigeria’s economy has suffered terrible blows. Nigeria appears directionless; the right of citizens to free speech is being threatened; our stock market is crashing; citizens are being killed and their rights violated by the same authorities that swore to protect them; our president is globetrotting like foreign trips are running out of fashion; we wake up every day in a Nigeria where election promises are being denied by the ruling party and return home to food left over by the movers and shakers of the country. Yet here we are, organizing a party to immortalize the folly. What disdain!

    “If the organizers of Aisha Buhari’s Aso Rock banquet were too impervious to the mood of the nation, one would have expected the invited youths to be more self-respecting. If after campaigning and being used for President Buhari’s presidential campaign, the value of their contributions is being reduced to plates of rice and bottles of malt drinks, it simply means that Nigerian youths have a seat only at Aisha Buhari’s dinner table. Shame.

    “In Sweden, Johan Gabriel Wikström was appointed Minister of Health in 2014 at the age of 29. Moussa Mara became the Prime Minister of Mali in 2014 at the age of 29. Charles Michel is the Prime Minister of Belgium. He assumed office on October 11, 2014 at the age of 39. Irakli Garibashvili was appointed Georgian Minister of Internal Affairs in 2012 at the age of 30. In Nigeria, youths are used, dumped after elections and later invited for banquets where they are encouraged to eat and forget their sorrows. Nigerian youths arise! You cannot continue like this.

    “In the history of Nigeria, it is on record that no government has insulted and treated Nigerian youths with such disdain like Buhari’s government within the last nine months of assumption of office as a civilian president. As if that is not bad enough, his government and their cheerleaders, continue to mock the sensibilities of Nigerians youths by running frivolous tweets and social media commentary in defense of Buhari’s government. Wake up. You are being used, and for what? Plates of rice and a bottle of Maltina!

    “Clearly, Aisha Buhari’s charade with ‘change youths’ on Tuesday in Aso Rock is nothing but a fanciful parade of dull vanities. At its best, it was simply another platform for the flagrant wastage of Nigeria’s meager resources and an opportunity to tell Nigerian youths how cheap, irresponsible, and unprepared for leadership they are.”

    • scimitar

      Too long. It is paining you.

  • MICHEAL MAHOGANY

    All indicted persons in the arms saga can equally give similar excuses. The truth is all Newspaper who collected are culpable because they succumbed to greed and failed to question the real source of these payments which the profession of Journalism demands.Countless Nigerians have suffered harassment , intimidation and business losses but never got compensation even with court judgement in some cases. In this instance we Nigerians view the action of the NPAN as aiding and abetting corruption. Since media has consistently sold itself to oppressive elements and with the culture of brown envelopes escalating, it is hard for us to accept any excuse after the fact.This indeed will go down as one of the lowest points of Journalism in Nigeria.

  • scimitar

    This is the 21st Century. There is no hiding place. You have ruined Nigeria by your brown envelopes. You are like a mortuary attendant that collects money from a bereaved family to release a corpse. You are all despicable.

  • Saka

    Ok, now that you’ve explained and know it was stolen money, Just BRING THE MONEY BACK!

  • Julius

    Where did they think the money came from ? . Kindly refund the money with interest !. Thank you.

  • Proud Yoruba

    Nobody settles a claim without some kind of release not to pursue a legal claim. If these thieves can show a signed release or agreement showing payment in lieu of pursuing a lawsuit, then, they’ll be more believable.

    Try harder guys, no one is buying your story. Jona met with them sine June 2014, but dies the pay them till 2015 just before elections, and they don’t smell a rat? A few of you should be used as examples!

  • Malik Isah

    Come and hear what these shameless people have to say as their defence o!

  • Nkem

    NPAN, YOU LIED!
    You people (NPAN Executive) held a meeting with Jonathan, compensation was agreed, but money was paid into Nduka’s personal account, not NPAN’s, and payment was tagged “for Energy Consulting”. So you people were deliberately trying to hide/launder this money.
    Some papers submitted claims running to a few hundred thousand, but gladly accepted 10 million, money that they were not entitled to. So you people knew it was bribe money from slush funds.
    Other papers submitted claims running to hundreds of millions, but gladly accepted 10 million, even agreeing to ‘donate’ 1 million to NPAN, so you people knew it was free money.
    NPAN, even though you claim money was paid to cover loses by the newspapers, still went ahead to deduct 1 million as ‘commission’ for what? For Nduka’s services?
    You people cried to Nigerians when your papers were impounded, and Nigerians cried on your behalf and abused government, and some of us were still abusing government even after you collected money, but you didn’t see reason to divulge this information like you screamed about the seizure. So that money cannot be for compensation. It was bribe money for 2015 presidential campaign.
    Besides, all the key people mentioned here were member of the Jonathan campaign committee: Comfort Obi, NPAN Secretary General, member, Jonathan Campaign Committee; High Thief Raymond Dokpesi, member, Jonathan campaign committee; Odili Peter, member Jonathan campaign. As for Obaigbena, we are witnesses to how he turned THISDAY into a PR arm of the Jonathan campaign, with all the pro-Jonathan e-rats converging on the THISDAY online platform. I have countless evidence of how anti-Jonathan comments we either “deleted as spam” or simply “removed” by Nduka/THISDAY’s tech recruits.

  • Lucky Joseph

    Why is it difficult for people to admit guilt, seek for forgiveness and make reparations where possible? Is that not more dignifying than all this rigmarole? NA wah o.