ThisDay Publisher and President of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria, Prince Nduka Obaigbena, has explained why some media houses haven’t collected their own share of the N120 million from the embattled former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, rtd. to defray the loss suffered by them in the hands of security operatives who confiscated their papers under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
According to him, ‘The cheques for the Nigerian Tribune and People’s Daily remain in the secretariat awaiting collection…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 the New Telegraph now demanded payment that had been collected by Blueprint Newspapers, the secretariat then brought the matter to the attention 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’.
Obaigbena’s response was courtesy Feyi Smith, NPAN’s Executive Secretary. The Delta born maverick media mogul, it would be recalled, has been trending for days now. The reason? The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, in the course of investigating Dasuki over how he disbursed the $2.2 billion arms procurement money budgeted for containing terrorism in the country had uncovered that he allegedly paid over N500 million to Obaigbena.
Swiftly, the anti graft agency asked him to report at their office to explain what the money was meant for. But before that, Mr. Obaigbena who is still in America and has promised to honour the invitation, had quickly explained that the money was for the losses he incurred when two of ThisDay’s offices were attacked by Boko Haram.