Dasukigate: PUNCH newspaper withdraws from NPAN

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

Punch Nigeria Limited, publishers of the PUNCH titles, has suspended its membership of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, NPAN.

The company communicated the decision to the NPAN in a letter dated Thursday, December 17 and signed by its chairman, Wale Aboderin.

“After a careful review of recent, and still unfolding, developments, Punch Nigeria Limited is suspending its membership of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria until further notice. This suspension takes effect immediately

“The public will recall the criminal charges levelled against a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and several other alleged accomplices.

“These charges border on the diversion of public funds, totalling $2.1 billion, allocated for the purchase of arms to prosecute the war against terrorism.

“The revelations indicate 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.

“The source of this money and the manner of its receipt, allegedly through a company called General Hydrocarbons, which is unknown to NPAN, have raised public concerns about the integrity of the press in Nigeria.

“The unfolding scandal has equally cast a shadow on the reputation of the mass media,” the paper said.

PUNCH also said it had always held that state-sponsored attacks against the media should be challenged in the open, boldly and vigorously.

The company however cited an example of the redress it sought over similar circumstance two decades ago.

“It was for this reason that we instituted an action against the federal government at the Federal High Court, Lagos, on June 13, 1994.

“Among other reliefs, the company sought compensation for the June 11, 1994 invasion of our premises by a combined team of policemen and State Security Service agents who shut down our operations and detained our staff.

“Suffice to say that the case is currently at the Supreme Court where the federal government is seeking to overturn the judgment of Justice T.A. Odunowo, who declared the invasion illegal and awarded PUNCH the sum of N25m in damages,” the company said.

It said it had for long held a position that the relationship between an independent press association and the government should be properly defined to preserve, at all times, the independence of the press and the sacred duty of the mass media as the watchdog of society.

“This informed our decision to promptly refuse to file any backdoor claim for compensation for the losses we incurred during the military assault of June 2014.

“PUNCH’s reputation, integrity, independence and high ethical standards are well known.

“Our readers trust their newspaper and believe that our editorial content is not influenced by pecuniary, political or personal interests.

“PUNCH remains committed to the vision of its founding fathers and the best traditions of a free press.

“We believe in an independent and unfettered mass media, trusted by the public and all stakeholders.

“We have sustained losses, suffered closures and endured privations in the past for our beliefs.

“We have remained, and will remain, steadfast in the defence of the ideals of responsible journalism; hence, our decision.

“We reiterate the need to rebuild and refocus the NPAN as a vibrant, independent business association and pressure group, funded only by its member-organisations.

“We will ONLY reconsider our withdrawal from NPAN when the critical issues which we, and other concerned stakeholders, have raised are addressed,” the paper said.

Investigations into how $2.1billion allegedly meant for arms procurement was spent had revealed that the publisher of Thisday Newspaper, Nduka Obaigbena, collected N120 Million from the former NSA on behalf of 12 newspapers whose circulation were disrupted by the military in June 2014.


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  • Taj

    if there is one Newspaper i admire alot for their ethical and professional stand. Its Punch.

    • Kokoro Dudu

      What about me?

  • Arise O Compatriot!

    Thank God for PUNCH Newspaper for maintaining what their founder’s believe in journalism of integrity. The Punch has been known for fearlessly telling the truth and towing path of integrity since the days of Military in Nigeria when i was a youth. God bless PUNCH, SAHARA REPORTERS, PREMIUM TIMES and PM News. Well meaning Nigerians salute your courage to distant yourselves from corrupt journalists and Media houses.

    • Tunsj

      I couldn’t agree more. Those news organizations you mentioned are fearless.

  • Ashibogu

    General Hydrocarbons, who are the promoters of this Company? Na wao for Nduka! Gbege dey ground!

  • NigeriaNeedsPeace

    Bravo Punch. I hope other Nigerian newspapers will learn the true meaning of INTEGRITY and follow suit. Say no to BROWN ENVELOPE JOURNALISM!!!

  • K-KAY

    The Punch has earned my greater respect for this action. The seed and the chaff are being separated.

  • Cleartruth

    Attempt by punch to play saint is nonsense. Punch is highly biased in their reports. They have tried in vain to silence biafra agitation reports and even when they struggled to report, one can see obviously their bias mindset. If not for sun newspaper and vanguard and social media they would have suppressed biafra agitation. They want us to see them as saints because they didn’t get their own share of the 120 million.

    They can’t deceive me .

    • Peter_Edo

      see who you are mentioning , sun and vanguard, two newspapers that HAVE CONFESSED RECEIPT OF THE BOKO HARAM BLOOD MONEY Why won’t they try to give this government a hard time? by focusing on Boko Haram

    • tee

      Opposite people… they will show their true color. Keep deceiving ur self.

      • Outraged

        Punch is more than forty years old and is currently the best newspaper in Nigeria. It brought all the yeye government down. Even Abacha found it tough with Punch. Punch destroyed Jonathan. Kudos to Punch

    • Artful ºDodger

      You can have your Sun and Vanguard junkie tabloids in your agitation for NOTHING, sane humanity is ok with the rest!

    • Outraged

      First, Biafraud is nonsense and Punch don’t report nonsense. Punch is over forty years old and does not want to tarnish its image with nonsense cause championed by idiots like you.

    • Niyi Akinlabu

      Yes editorially, Punch in pro-Nigeria. No apologies.

  • Arabakpura

    Thisday and Nduka are in a messy moral troubles; in short, they are finished!

  • item7

    Kudos to the Punchnewspapers

  • Good job Punch. Except that you don’t allow or publish my comments critical of Buhari, Tinubu and APC. That make Punch, ThisDay and Cable bigoted. That’s shameful.

    • Artful ºDodger

      If you make sense they will post your comment but since you sound like the sounding brass most of you baby factory products are, it is better they save humanity from the emotional distress of reading nonsense from someone who left Africa without his brains.

      • You must be wallowing in your no-electricity heat-plagued and rat infested one room dungeon you called home that you could not reason well without being paranoid. Pls take your medications b4 coming to this forum.

        • Artful ºDodger

          Lol..if you have the slightest idea where i am you will beg to lick my ass just to spend an hour here. Go to Vanguard, that is where the rest of your nuisance insane batch exhibit their mental disorder. This place is meant for the knowledgeable which does not include any of you baby factory products!

          • Wish you well …. I don’t join issues with schizophrenics.

    • Outraged

      They don’t allow your comments because they are bigoted and lack facts. Punch is over forty years old and has its reputation to protect. So go away with your jaundiced comments.

      • musa aliyu

        Gbam!

    • Sir Demo

      I doubt your assertion. Comments on Punch platform are instant unlike pending it as on Thisday.

    • Kokoro Dudu

      Why do you guys spread lies??? You can say whatever you want on Punch!

  • CONSCIENCE

    Is this not the newspaper Biafrans call names. When will Vanguard suspend their membership.

    • Outraged

      Point of correction please: Biafrauds not Biafran. Biafra is dead to be replaced by frauds

    • Niyi Akinlabu

      Vanguard has sold out since the start of Jonathan’s contraption. It was for parochial ethnic sentiment.

  • SholaJohn

    Nduka’s intimacy with Atiku has always left me in doubt about his integrity. When compensation becomes selective then it’s another perpetration of injustice. How much has been paid to family who lost lives, other people who lost businesses and properties etc places of worship for properties lost etc? GEJ lost me personally when he decided to rebuild UN office in Abuja and blatantly refused to compensate worship houses. Makarfi did it in kaduna in 2000 and 2003 and that earned him respect to the fact that his reelection was championed by more Christians than moslems. This selective compensation is highly suspect and punch has towed the path of honour.Nduka should come clean.

  • Artful ºDodger

    Anyone who took money from Dasuki has the blood of the innocent Nigerians murdered by the insurgency he and his fellow PDP demons sponsored as justification for the money in their hands. God said vengeance is His, He will repay He said. And Dasuki will surely get his reward here and in the here after!
    Gen Azzazi)RIP) was right afterall, the PDP is actually behind boko haram. Woe betides the PDP and everyone in it.

  • Niyi Akinlabu

    Much as I am a believer in Punch, the most important question hasn’t been answered: did Punch collect its allotted share of the Dasuki loot?

    • Kokoro Dudu

      Do you know how to read English at all? Punch didn’t collect any money from IPAN and to buttress it’s believe that misbehavior should be challenged in the open, it took the FGN to court for N25M for the invasion of it’s properties in 1994.

      You may want to buy brighter grammar…

      • kammykazee

        Stop wasting your time with all these coconut heads, comprehension is not there thing.

  • smart G

    Too late. If Punch shared in the compensation they should forget the case.
    Besides If Punch is suing for N25 million ,and all others are suing for N25 million, then Dasuki was right to have given them only N125 million as compensation.
    It would have cost Nigeria at least N500 million to settle in court.

    • Kokoro Dudu

      Do you know how to read English at all? Punch didn’t collect any money from IPAN and to buttress it’s believe that misbehavior should be challenged in the open, it took the FGN to court for N25M for the invasion of it’s properties in 1994.

      You may want to buy brighter grammar..

      • smart G

        Yes punch should go and sort itself out with the body. If I may ask, the decision to compensate the media houses must have been borne out of complaint from the Association, so how many other paper houses (of all those affected) sued Federal Government ? Punch wanted N25 million. That is very greedy. Every body wants to “obtain” from the same FG.

        • Datti

          This N25M was for the invasion of Punch properties in 1994. Case still at the Supreme courts. The Nduka N120M was for the papers that were seized by soldiers in 2014! Guardian News rejected their own share of the loot because the paper felt it was abnormal: Guardian lost papers worth less than N500,000 and Dasuki was willing to pay N10M for N500,000. I hope you understand – very simple indeed.

          • smart G

            Thanks for the clarification
            We can now see how greedy Punch is.
            If their premises were invaded in 1994 and they are claiming N25 million how come Guardian was claiming only N500,000?

          • David

            Punch was awarded N25m by the court of which the punch has no power,moreover in a case of this nature,the culprit most pay for his action. Forget N500k.Remember Babasuwe a Yoruba comedian that was unlawful arrested at the airport by NDLEA. The court awarded him N25m. Which business would the wobbling comedian do in France that would have given him N25m?

        • Kokoro Dudu

          And you call yourself smart? You are f^cking dumb. Go back and read the article again.

          • smart G

            So you mean The body was paid over 100 million and Punch is just getting to know…..Man wake up. Punch pulling out is belated and smarks of hypocrisy.
            Read beyond the lines mr kokroach

          • Kokoro Dudu

            Who said the body was paid? Money was paid by NSA to some random company and Nduka spent it. If not for Dasuki singing Alleluia, nobody would have known. And yes, I don’t even think the money was for IPAN because it wasn’t paid into their accounts.

          • Kokoro Dudu

            Confirmed, you don’t know how to read, sh^thh3ad

          • David

            Bee nio. He is definitely reading news from the moon.

  • Nkem

    When a government gives money to the association of newspaper owners to share amongst themselves, it can only mean one thing – that that government intends to buy the conscience of those newspapers buy buying over their owners. Of course it was always easier for Jonathan to do business with Obaigbena because ThisDay has always been a cash and carry newspaper. And of course Nduka had his own agenda in mind from the ou by contesting for the president of NPAN. The result was what we saw from the pathetic news reporting that those compromised ThisDay reporters were churning out for Jonathan’s people.

  • favourtalk

    All this there hidden money given to tj during GEJ regime through back door means they sabotage nigeria interests and didn’t report the truth to all of us. Thank God for the revelation through Dasuki gate. PDP is finished in nigeria

  • Invictus

    Punch this is highly commendable! Breaking the conspiracy of silence especially at a time when media houses have sold their conscience and became willing tools and agents of corruption. But brazeup, as they’ll come after you to drag you into their mud for publicly dissociating yourselves from corruption. Kudos!

  • Du Covenant

    This is a brilliant move, Kudos to Punch and it’s management. It is time we start making decisions based on principles not sentiments. All the thieves in Nigeria that have arrested our development and have been given chieftaincy titles should be austracised, rejected and booooed anytime they show their ugly faces…

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