These are just unpleasant times for the flamboyant Publisher/Chairman of ThisDay Newspapers, Prince Nduka Obaigbena. The colourful President of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria who is perpetually living on the edge, right now, is not finding things easy.
Yet to totally extricate himself from EFCC’s palaver – where he has been accused of pocketing N670 million out of the controversial $2.1 billion Dasuki’s Arms Procurement Bazaar – Obaigbena has yet another major issue to contend with: his Arise TV in the United Kingdom has gone off air!
The TV station, however, assured that ‘Normal service will resume as soon as possible.’ Which many doubt. Especially because part of the N670 million for which Obaigbena was quizzed for nearly an entire day by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission before being granted administrative bail has allegedly been traced to Arise Global Media Ltd, the brains behind Arise TV.
‘The money, N568,360,000, was said to have been transferred from General Hydrocarbon account…and came from the office of the detained former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, rtd…it was also part of the money that Obaigbena shared to some newspaper publishers, following the confiscation of their papers by security agents, which has also been generating a lot of noise…
‘So, you can see why it’s double wahala for the man. He allegedly signed an undertaking at EFCC to refund the money in 2 weeks, which may not be easy. The South African arm of his business had earlier been shut; the UK arm just went off air and the Naija (Nigeria) one is no longer flourishing like before. So, there is really fire on the mountain for The Duke, one of his sobriquets…’