In reaction to ThisDay publisher, Nduka Obaigbena’s claim that he gave Tribune Newspaper N10m from the money he collected from ex-NSA, Sambo Dasuki, the management of the paper, has denied receiving a dime from the embattled publisher in a statement posted on its website, and signed by the MD/Editor-in-Chief, Edward Dickson.
Nduka Obaigbena, had said he received 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”.
The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to claims by the Publisher of
Thisday newspapers who is also President of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Mr. Nduka Obaigbena that a sum of N10million was paid to our company through NPAN by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) as compensation for the disruption of our circulation operations, seizure of our newspapers and damage to our property by soldiers in June 2014.
“Although, like other NPAN members, we filed claims as requested for by NPAN, the fact of the matter is that up till this moment, 11th December, 2015, OUR COMPANY IS YET TO RECEIVE A KOBO as compensation from NPAN for the 2014 disruptive activities of the military to our operations.”
Also, the management of New Telegraph newspapers, and Peoples Daily denied receiving money from Obaigbena.
In a statement signed by the Managing Director/ Editor-in-Chief of New Telegraph, Mrs Funke Egbemode, the newspaper said it did not receive any money from Mr Obaigbena despite repeated demands for same from NPAN.
The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to the inclusion of New Telegraph Newspapers on the list of media houses that THISDAY Publisher and President, Newspapers Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) claimed he paid N10 million each to, from funds he received from the immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA), Col Sambo Dasuki (retd), as compensation for the illegal seizure of some newspapers by the military during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“It is on record that following the decision of NPAN to seek compensation from the Federal Government in the aftermath of the seizure of editions of newspapers by the military, New Telegraph computed its losses, which were passed to the association. However, since then, the company has heard nothing from the association on the matter.
“Following a report that NPAN has begun paying N9 million (not N10 million as contained in the report that has gone viral on the internet), the management of Daily Telegraph Publishing Company Limited, publishers of New Telegraph, Saturday Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, has written three letters to NPAN for its share of the compensation; but regrettably, as at this moment, not even a kobo has been received.
“The first letter was written on May 22, 2015 followed by another on July 16, 2015 with a reminder written on November 19, 2015.
“Therefore, it is nothing but sheer falsehood for the NPAN president, who claimed he received the money on behalf of the association, to have included New Telegraph Newspapers as one of the beneficiaries of the funds, which as it has now emerged, was disbursed by the former NSA.”