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After Grilling, EFCC Grants ThisDay Publisher, Obiagbena Conditional Release


Promises Refund of N670 Million In 2 Weeks

By Seun Adebosin

The Publisher of ThisDay Newspaper, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena has been conditional released after being held for about 24 hours by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for questioning over alleged collection of the sum of N670 Million from former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

Obiagbena who recently returned to Nigeria from UK reported to the EFCC office Tuesday, but was allowed to go late Wednesday with the pledged to refund the money traced to him within fortnight.

The Publisher has claimed that the sum he received from the office of former NSA, was a compensation to rehabilitate his office which was attacked by Boko Haram insurgents as well as some newspaper houses which suffered losses due to clampdown by the security operatives in 2014.

However, the N120 Million Mr. Obiagbena received allegedly to be shared among the affected Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) members, has provoked controversy, as counter claims of collecting money from Obiagbena followed the publisher’s claim as indicated in his letter last year to the EFCC.

Still, investigations by the EFCC operatives indicated that Obiagbena allegedly paid the sum of N568,360,000 to the Arise Global Media Limited, the promoters of his UK based Arise TV.

The money was allegedly transferred from the account of General Hydrocarbon, a firm which received the money in tranches from Dasuki on behalf of the Obiagbena.

Also, EFCC investigation revealed that the first tranche of N150m was allegedly paid for an environmental security project while the balance was paid as an energy consulting fee.

Ahead of his release Wednesday, Obaigbena was made to sign an undertaking, promising that the sum he collected from the former NSA office would be refunded in two weeks time, prompting the anti-graft body to grant him an administrative bail, hence allowed him to go.

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