Tribune, Telegraph, two other newspapers disown Obaigbena, over ex-NSA Dasuki payment claim

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

The managements of four newspapers on Friday dissociated themselves from the 12 media houses said to have collected N10 million each from the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki, in March this year.

The four newspapers are African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN) Plc, publishers of the Tribune titles; Peoples Media Limited, publishers of Peoples Daily; Daily Telegraph Publishing Company Limited, publishers of New Telegraph, Saturday Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, and Independent Newspapers Limited, publishers of Daily Independent newspapers,.

The publisher of ThisDay Newspapers, Nduka Obaigbena, had claimed in his response to a letter of invitation from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, that he received N120 million in March 2015 on behalf of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria and the 12 newspapers.

The newspapers had demanded compensation for the “unlawful seizure and stoppage of circulation of their newspapers by armed soldiers in Abuja and several cities” during the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

But in a statement Friday, the management of Tribune said at no time was any money received by the company from Mr. Obaigbena as compensation for attacks on its operations and personnel by soldiers in June 2014.

The Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of the media organisation, Edward Dickson, explained that although it had filed claims like all other newspapers as requested by the NPAN, no payment was received, contrary to claims by Mr. Obaigbena.

“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,” Mr Dickson said.

“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.”

The management of New Telegraph newspapers also denied receiving any money from Mr. Obaigbena, despite repeated demands for same from NPAN.

“It is on record that following the decision of NPAN to seek compensation from the Federal Government in the aftermath of the seizure of editions of newspapers by the military, New Telegraph computed its losses, which were passed to the association. However, since then, the company has heard nothing from the association on the matter,” the Managing Director/ Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, Funke Egbemode, said in a statement.

Mrs. Egbemode, who claimed the amount reportedly being disbursed by NPAN was N9 million and not N10 million, said the management of Daily Telegraph Publishing Company Limited had written three letters to NPAN demanding its share of the compensation.

She expressed regrets that not even a kobo has so far been received from NPAN by the company.

“The first letter was written on May 22, 2015, followed by another on July 16, 2015, with a reminder written on November 19, 2015,” Mrs. Egbemode explained.

She described as “nothing, but sheer falsehood” claims by Mr. Obaigbena that he received N120 million from the former NSA on behalf of the NPAN on behalf of 12 newspapers, including New Telegraph Newspapers.

The Chief Operating Officer of the Peoples Daily newspaper, Ali Ali, also said the newspaper never received any such money under whatever guise.

“One of the revelations on the current inquisition of the tenure of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) is that this newspaper, among several other national dailies, received the sum of N10million from the office of the former NSA through Nduka Obaigbena, the President of Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria, NPAN.

“This is news to us. At no time was such money made available to us in whatever guise. We wish to state clearly that it is false and therefore, wish to completely distance this medium from this revelation.

“We don’t know of others, therefore, we can’t speak for them,” said the newspaper.

The Chief Executive Officer, Independent Newspapers Limited, publishers of Daily Independent newspapers, Ted Iwere, also denied receiving payment.

Although Mr. Iwere could not be reached late last night for comments, a source close to the company told PREMIUM TIMES he (Mr. Iwere) had earlier contacted Mr. Obaigbena on reading reports that his company was paid the money.

Mr. Obaigbena was said to have responded by saying inform the cheque for Daily Independent was available for collection at the NPAN Secretariat in Lagos.

The ThisDay publisher did not answer or return calls made to him last night by a PREMIUM TIMES reporter seeking comments for this story.

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  • Ashibogu

    Nduka! Nduka! Nduka! See your life! We don dey warn you say wayo no dey pay. You no dey hear word. See how you come end. You use people name collect money you no give them. Wetin dat one come be? Na 419! Yawa don gas for your head. No where to hide not even in Owa Oyibu. A Prince has brought himself to public ridicule. Too bad! Just return wetin you collect maybe Buhari will ask you to go and sin no more.

    • Niyi Akinlabu

      I’m sure he won’t get just a ‘pat in the bum’. He’ll get what he deserves: real jail time.

  • Niyi Akinlabu

    He’s always been a fraudster. His time is up.

  • Chuks

    Nigeria is in trouble indeed. This is the childish letter that convinced a PHD president to sign off hundreds of millions of his country’s money to a fraudster editor who only recently could not pay salaries of his staff? The problem with Jonathan is excessive inferiority, otherwise when did a president become an insurance company to award amounts not to families of the death but to the account of a dubious business proprietor? Obasanjo will continue to regret the day he propelled this inferior man to national office.

  • Holy truth

    Nduka, is one of d most greediest men ever to have existed on d surface of dis earth. He is a greedy thief like his brother d high thief dokpesi. All dis guys just played on Jonathan’s cluelessnes & started stealing our money. How I wish all dis guys are given Chinese treatment of treasury looters.God will punish all of u, God will plague all of u dat had hands in plundering dis nation to dis level. U & ur household will not have peace to enjoy ur loots. As u guys has made lives difficult 4 a lot of Nigerians so shall God deal with u severely. U all will not have peace till u die miserably. All of dem are now flying abroad 4 medical treatments while millions of Nigerians are dying bcos u guys have stolen what belongs to all us. U will not see cure 4 d sickness u guys are going abroad to treat God will increase ur pains in many folds. D pains u guys put on majority of Nigerians will quadruple in ur lives IJN.

  • redalert

    DEAR EDITOR,

    Nduka Obaigbena is a proceed of crime

    The facts wil suggest that Nduka Obaigbena is a proceed of crime – a nearly worthless career criminal.
    His latest scam provides an opportunity to bring him to justice, swiftly, for a final solution once and for all.
    The facts warrant that Nduka Obaigbena be arraigned for STEALING BY TRICKS under the Criminal Code.
    It would follow that THISDAY newspapers should be forfeited as a proceed of crime as a fraud instrumentality.
    The 670 million Nduka Obaigbena conspired to steal from the treasury under pretext must be fully recovered.

  • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

    Blame the entire mess on not only Rueben Abati–who conspired with Nduka and the NSA-to defraud the state of Nigeria but also did all intheir reach to use their media to destroy Jonathan. When I asked for Dasuki to be fired—some said Nay————These are the people who worked against Jonathan—-The very pigs who stole in the morning and insulted Jonathan in the evening-with their media-What did (Thisday) do to enhance the image of Jonathan-? Nothing! That is the Jonathan-who neglected his his people in the South south-because he wanted to appease these armed robbers from Sokoto, Edo ati Delta state—Yes we know the money was stolen by Abacha and Buhari—-But to have used blackmail to steal from Jonathan-again is a very big insult–Who does not know Nduka as a rogue in Nigeria? Rueben Abati must be sent to jail–That man contributed in no small measures to pull Jonathan down-with the aid of these thieves

  • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

    Blame the entire mess on not only Rueben Abati–who conspired with Nduka and the NSA-to defraud the state of Nigeria but also did all within their reach to use their media to destroy Jonathan. When I asked for Dasuki to be fired—some said Nay————These are the people who worked against Jonathan—-The very pigs who stole in the morning and insulted Jonathan in the evening-with their media-What did (Thisday) do to enhance the image of Jonathan-? Nothing! That is the Jonathan-who neglected his people in the South south-because he wanted to appease these armed robbers from Sokoto, Edo ati Delta state—Yes we know the money was stolen by Abacha and Buhari—-But to have used blackmail to steal from Jonathan-again is a very big insult–Who does not know Nduka as a rogue in Nigeria? Rueben Abati must be sent to jail–That man contributed in no small measures to pull Jonathan down-with the aid of these thieves

  • Chuks

    If we had good security investigation it will be very easy to convict and send this man away for many years! Nduka should provide the receipts, serial numbers and suppliers of the equipments he claimed outrageous values on, and how he paid for them. A newspaper editor intimidating and harassing a president in this shameful way? This was the same way this Nduka betrayed Abiola to obtain money from Abacha for his lavish lifestyles.

  • Africa

    We are not a serious people at all! A man went to London shouting that there can be no election until Boko Haram is contained. Next thing we heard elections where postponed and he gets more money to buy more weapons but the problem is that the monies ($£) he collected ended up in people’s bank account. Any serious person should be able to see that Dasuki and his gangs ripped us… It does’nt matter whether you are Ibo, Yoruba, Hausa, Ijaw or Birom, you’ve been had. Let us start treating these people with the contempt they deserve.

  • tundemash

    And yet Dumbo Jo refused to pay the Ogoni’s compensation they won legally, against the FG, at the court. Since when has the office of the NSA become an insurance company compensating victims of disasters ?
    May Jonathan’s end be disastrous. May his generations unborn suffer same fate he and Dasuki subjected the people of the North East to in the hands of Boko Haram.

  • favourtalk

    You will all go to EFCC to defend the loots you collected during GEJ reign. Change is a better thing for nigeria, we can’t afford to let people like you go Scott free. Our money must be recovered

  • Bashir Danyaro

    The Day of Reckoning is around the corner for This Day Newspaper Owner Mr Obaigbena ! We will hear more ! So the Yam eaters are all around us ! We thank you PMB !!!

  • Sledgehammer

    Ambitious men are led astray by an infection that is almost unavoidable. Brothers, sisters our country has fallen into a status of moral putrefaction

  • Dazmillion

    We might not be seeing obaigbena within the shores of Nigeria for a long time

  • Arabakpura

    “We shall celebrate after the elections” …after the reggae play the blues…et blues, et blues! Share the stout share the prison… at cell, et cell!