DasukiGate: Guardian Newspaper disowns Obaigbena, NPAN

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

One of Nigeria’s oldest surviving newspapers, The Guardian, has distanced itself from the multi-million Naira scandal involving Nigerian newspapers and the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

The Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria, NPAN, had confirmed a statement by its former chairman, Nduka Obaigbena, that N120 million he received from Mr. Dasuki was meant for 12 newspapers including Guardian.

The NPAN, in a statement on Saturday by its Executive Secretary, Feyi Smith, said the association agreed at a March meeting to distribute N10 million each from the N120 million to the 12 newspapers affected by a military clampdown on print media in June 2014 during the Goodluck Jonathan presidency.-

However, in an email late on Sunday, Alexander Thomopulos, the Chief Operating Officer of the Guardian said his newspaper never supported collecting the money from the government and did not receive any money.

Mr. Thomopulos said even though the Guardian incurred N450,000 loss as a result of the attack, it “stated categorically that we did not want any compensation.”

“Can you please explain how our name, Guardian newspapers, was part of the twelve (12) newspapers submitted to the Government for compensation?” he asked Mr. Smith in the mail.

“We are told that on the basis of the twelve names, the Association or some entity was paid N120,000,000.00.

“We share categorically that our stand remains the same, as it was in the beginning. Also we share categorically that the Guardian newspapers did not receive any money and did not ask for any money.”

Mr. Thomopulos did not say if the Guardian attended the NPAN Executive Council meeting of March 17; and an email seeking further clarification from him was not responded to.

By Mr. Thomopulos’ mail, the Guardian joins the list of other newspapers who have stated that they did not receive the N10 million.

The four other newspapers were 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.

Mr. Smith had tried to explain why three of the newspapers were yet to receive the money.

“The cheques for the Nigerian Tribune and Peoples’ Daily remain in the Secretariat awaiting collection,” he said on Saturday.

“In the case of New Telegraph, the Secretariat was confronted with a situation where 13 Newspapers made claims while compensation for 12 newspapers was made. Blueprint Newspapers which was inadvertently omitted from the list has since been paid.

“When New Telegraph now demanded payment that had been collected by Blueprint Newspapers, the secretariat then brought the matter to the attention of the of the President, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, who then called Governor Orji Kalu , the Publisher of both the Sun Newspapers (who had been paid) and the New Telegraph (which has not been paid), to urge him to be patient for the matter to be tabled at the next Executive Council meeting, where he would seek the approval of the EXCO to take the funds earmarked for the Secretariat to pay them,” he said.

Mr. Smith is yet to respond to a PREMIUM TIMES’ enquiry on the Guardian’s stance.

The newspaper scandal came to the fore after Mr. Obaigbena, publisher of ThisDay newspapers, admitted receiving N680 million from Mr. Dasuki, who is accused of misappropriating over $2.1 billion while he was NSA; money meant to buy weapons to fight the Boko Haram terror group.

Mr. Obaigbena told the anti-graft agency, EFCC, that Mr. Dasuki paid him N670 million as compensation for the Boko Haram bomb attack on ThisDay office, and an additional N120 million on behalf of the 12 newspapers.


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  • @solomonwise

    More revelation to come!

  • Oladapo Sunday

    interesting, Abacha loot Nigeria, GEJ & NOI looted abacha’s loot, Dasuki looted GEJ, Obaigbena looted dasuki and other news media company. looting spree.

    • duwdu

      Hahaha, this your chained investigation and conclusion rhymes very well o, Oladapo Sunday, on this Sunday! Kikikikiki!!!

      P34c3
      …..

    • 1nigeria

      vicious cycle of looting. ahahahahahah

    • El_Komo

      Looters looting the Looters looting the Looted

  • Paul Young

    This Obaigbena guy is in serious troble. First of all Guardian, a major newspaper admits to losing only 450k which makes it plausible that al the other newspapers lost similar. so why were they compensated with 10 million each lets even assume they realy all got the money of which 5 have so far denied receiving it. Looking at the timeline of this money, it was obviously given by GEJ’s govt to NPAN to support its re-election bid. With all d evidence Obaigbena is in big trouble

  • Chuks

    If you know Nduka Obaigbena, he will rather fight and tear his shirt than return money he picked on the street to the owner even if all pedestrians saw when it fell off! The man is disgustingly greedy to a morbid level. His journalistic strategy is to repeatedly scam incompetent and mediocre politicians like Jonathan to part with huge public cash. Credible Newspaper proprietors must distance themselves from this remorseless scammer.

    • El_Komo

      I agree. He has done so to some of Nigeria’s largest banks and keeps doing more harm just like Dokpesi.

  • Mamman Bako

    Wrong logo! Premium Times edit the caption photo or someone in London will notice and you into trouble. Where are your editors?!

  • Ashibogu

    I have made up my mind about Nigeria. It shall be well with our nation. The likes of Nduka Obaigbena can never hurt us again. He will be lucky if he does not go to jail. I am waiting for the Verdict on this matter according to. Segun Adeniyi. Reuben Abati must also give us his mind on Dasukigate. Meanwhile, I am loving the drama. It is a big comical relief from all the scatter scatter going on in the country.

    • Peter_Edo

      yes oh, i don dey roast many popcorn since!!!

  • Ade

    How come GET approved N10 million as compensation for a loss of N450, 000?chai

    • Chuks

      Forgive Jonathan. He was drunk, simple.

      • Victor Aikhionbare

        Lols

    • Peter_Edo

      the stealing was SICKLY… first of all the govt was not an insurance company. no wonder the newspapers seems to be quite pro PDP …

  • Victor Aikhionbare

    It’s the excuses from the pastors that would be really hilarious. Like compensation for lost tithe and offering or special prayer for God to have mercy on Nigeria

  • Du Covenant

    In decent societies handouts from public coffers go to the less priviledged in those societies, In Nigeria it is the ‘elite’ that collect such handouts what an aberration. Even as we speak the greedy still think the minimum wage is too much for the masses while millions of Naira for them is not enough. Is Nigeria not rife for a real bloody revolution?. What is wrong with black people as a whole?, why are we so pathologically greedy?. They share our commonwealth and spend most of their time abroad spending money they did not sweat for, the embassies do not give the rest of visas for a variety of reasons yet, these animals and their families get visas at will to travel in and out, is this fair?., are these embassies not facillitators too?, do we really need them in our countries?…just asking!.

  • 1nigeria

    I can’t imagine who a loss of N450,000 will warrant a compensation of N10m. OMG. and these people will complain of no money for education, road, water, shelter and economic development. youth are there with no jobs and someone will still be supporting these looters. dia is god ooooooo

  • mustyville

    When did the federal government become an insurance company? Buhari is a bit timid. I expect Jonathan and Patience to be roasting in jail by now. Also were Dokpesi and Datsuki common Nigerians, I bet they would have been remanded at ikoyi prison and not EfCC custody which is like house arrest for them.

  • favourtalk

    All of them will suffer for the wickedness done to the country for spending our money anyhow, they will surely go to jail for the act.

  • Julius Joel

    No use crying when the head is off. Guardian has Abati in the presidency and there is every possibility Guardian was included in the llist of the twelve media houses to benefit from the loot. Guardian needs to check to be sure someone has not collected the ten million on its behalf. I simply cannot believe Guardian story. Now the ThisDay boss cannot suddenly be an outcast for the Guardian newspaper. ThisDay and Guardian are birds of the same feathers. Abati of Guardian went even furhter than the Segun Adeniyi of ThisDay newspaper when the duo got to Aso Rock to practice journalism by deceit