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Why Obaigbena Collected N420 Million from Former NSA Sambo Dasuki

By Niyi Adeyi

The Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Thisday Newspapers Group, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena has opened up that the sum of N420, 000,000 he received from the office of the embattled former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. (rted) Sambo Dasuki were compensation for attack on his Abuja office by the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists, as well as clampdown by the security operatives on some media organizations last year.

Obaigbena who in a letter to Olaolu Adegbite, in response to his invitation by the anti-graft body – the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), indicated that he was on his way to Nigeria from the United States (US) and declared his organization has never received any suspicious funds from the Office of the former NSA.

“All funds received from the Office of the National Security Adviser were PAYMENTS for compensation to mitigate the following: 1.1. N150,000,000 + N150,000,000 and N250,000,000 respectively received in August, November and February 2014 as compensation to mitigate the dastardly Boko Haram twin bombings of the Thisday Newspapers offices in Abuja and Kaduna on Thursday April 26, 2012, during which 4 innocent Nigerian lives were lost, our buildings destroyed and we lost full colour Goss printing towers and three (3) pre-press Computer-To-Plate and auxiliary equipments and other (in)valuable property valued at over N2.5 BILLION. This is aside from daily costs to pay 3rd party printers of over N1 Billion having lost our printing facility to terrorist due to inadequate protection by the Federal Government of Nigeria” Obaigbena submitted.

The bombing of Thisday offices he explained, further followed the Abuja United Nations Building bombing for which the Federal Government has so far spent N3 Billion for reconstruction and much more earmarked for furnishing; “1.2. N100, 000,000 and N20, 000,000 received in March 2015 for The Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) and 12 newspapers who demanded compensation for the brutal and unlawful seizure of newspapers and stoppage of circulation by armed soldiers in Abuja and several cities”.

As President of the NPAN, Mr. Obiagbena said it was his duty to lead media leaders to hold discussions with former President Goodluck Jonathan to “avert a class action lawsuit against the Armed Forces and the Federal Government of Nigeria”.

He added on both occasions, President Jonathan specified he did not wish to lay precedence, while in NPAN’s case, he specifically said there were many victims of Boko Haram.

Obiagbena claimed he had to confront former President Jonathan on the issue when he learnt of approvals for the reconstruction of the Abuja United Nations Building, “since we were the second major organization to be attacked by Boko Haram after the UN attack”.

Sequel to this, Obiagbena confirmed that the immediate past President, directed him to meet with Col. Dasuki who he said processed the 3 payments in question.


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