Dasuki Only Paid Me N670m And It Was To Compensate Me- Nduka Speaks From US

The Chairman and Editor-in-Chief
of Thisday newspaper, Nduka Obaigbena, has said the immediate past National
Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki, paid him N670 million as compensation for
attacks on his newspaper’s offices in Abuja and Kaduna in 2012.
He said he also received
compensation for the illegal seizure of newspapers by men of the armed forces.
Mr. Obaigbena made the disclosure
while responding to an invitation by the Economic and Financial Commission
(EFCC) in connection to the ongoing probe into the usage of $2.1 billion arms
procurement fund by the office of the NSA under Mr Dasuki.

Mr Dasuki, alongside some top
officials of the former ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party, and other
former senior officials are currently being investigated for the alleged
diversion of the fund.
Mr Obaigbena is the second owner
of a mainstream media organisation, after the founder of DAAR Communications,
owners of Africa Independent Television and Raypower radio network, Raymond
Dokpesi, who have been mentioned in the investigation.
Mr Dokpesi, who is still in EFCC
custody, is facing a six-count charge of fraud and money laundering in a
federal High Court in Abuja.
In a letter, dated December 9,
2015, addressed to the Chairman of the EFCC, Mr Obaigbena explained that he was
in the United States and would honour the invitation in person as soon as he
returned to the country. He, however, stated that he thought it necessary to
issue a statement prior to his return.
He denied to have ever received
any suspicious funds from the office of the NSA adding that all funds he
received were “payment for compensation to mitigate” terror attacks on the head
office of his newspaper in Abuja and another attack on the newspaper’s office
in Kaduna.
“N100,000,000 +N100,000,000 and
N250,000,000 respectively received in August, November and February 2014 as
compensation to mitigate the dastardly Boko Haram twin bombing of the Thisday
newspapers offices in Abuja and Kaduna on Thursday April 26, 2012, during which
four innocent Nigerian lives were lost, our building destroyed and we lost full
colour Goss printing towers and three (3) pre-press Computer-To-Plate and
auxiliary equipment and other (in)valuable property valued at over N2.5 billion
having lost our printing facility to terrorists due to inadequate protection by
the Federal Government of Nigeria,” he wrote.
Mr Obaigbena added that he was
compelled to make the request after the federal government spent N3 billion in
reconstructing the United Nations office that was bombed by Boko Haram in
August 2011.
He further wrote that he received
additional N120 million in March 2015 on behalf of the Newspaper Proprietors
Association of Nigeria (NPAN) and 12 newspapers who asked to be compensated for
the “unlawful seizure and stoppage of circulation by armed soldiers in Abuja
and several cities.”
Mr. Obaigbena explained that as
the Chairman of NPAN, he did that to forestall a planned class action the
newspapers were going to institute against the government.
He explained that on both
occasions, former President Goodluck Jonathan initially refused to accede to
the demands so as not to create a precedence but later approved the payment
after he (Nduka) confronted him with the effort the government had undertaken
to reconstruct the UN building.

“On both occasions, President
Jonathaan 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 the approval for the
reconstruction of the Abuja United Nations Building, since we were the second
major organisation that would be attacked by Boko Haram after the UN attack. He
therefore directed me to meet with the National Security Adviser who processed
the three payments in question.”

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