Owner of Thisday newspaper, Nduka Obaigbena, has opened up and admitted receiving the sum of N670 million, about $4 million dollars then, from the serially accused and charged former NSA Sambo Dasuki.
Nduka Obaigbena said the NSA paid him the N670 million as compensation for the Boko Haram burning his newspaper offices in Abuja and Kaduna in 2012.
We earlier wrote an expose on how Nduka Obaigbena framed the current Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari as being behind Boko Haram with a fictitious and malicious editorial caption, “Buhari: Military Offensive Is Anti-North,” which was not the words of the President and not even contained in the text of the article itself. The editorial was recognized to aggressively promote the PDP political party in the lead-up to the 2015 Presidential elections.
From ThisDay website:
In its response to a letter of invitation from the EFCC dated 8th November 2015, which was received in its Abuja office on the 8th of December 2015, the management of Thisday Newspapers Group stated that all funds received from the office of the NSA “are payments for compensation to mitigate the dastardly Boko Haram twin bombings of the Thisday Newspapers offices in Abuja and Kaduna on Thursday April 26, 2012.”
The newspaper management said during the attack, “four 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 anxiliary equipment and other (in) valuable property valued at over N2.5 billion.”
The response letter to the EFCC invitation signed by Nduka Obaigbena, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Thisday Newspapers Group and dated December 9, 2015, stated further that N150,000,000 + N150,000,000 and N250,000,000 respectively were received in August, November and February 2014 as compensation to mitigate the dastardly Boko Haram twin bombings of its offices as approved by the Federal Government.
Prince Obaigbena who is currently in the United States of America and on his way back to Nigeria to honour the EFCC invitation stated further in the letter to the Executive Chairman of the EFCC that the N100,000,000 and N20,000,000 received in March 2015 was 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, it was my duty to lead media leaders to hold discussions with President Goodluck Jonathan to avert a class action lawsuit against the Armed Forces and the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
Obaigbena added: “On both occasions, President Jonathan said he did not wish to lay precedence and in our case, he specifically said there were many victims of Boko Haram. I had to confront President Jonathan on the issue when I learnt of approvals for the reconstruction of the Abuja United Nations Building, since we were the second major organisation to be attacked by Boko Haram after the UN attack. He therefore directed me to meet the National Security Adviser who processed the 3 payments in question.
“Please find attached a copy of our letter to President Jonathan as well as correspondence with the then NSA on the Newspapers’ payment. I will be make my way to Nigeria to meet with you should you require further information,” the letter stated.