The Chairman and Publisher of ThisDay Newspapers Group, Nduka Obaigbena, on Friday explained why he collected the sum of N670 million from the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA.
According to him, it was as compensation for the Abuja and Kaduna offices of the media group bombed by Boko Haram and ,as a compensation for newspapaper publications seized by the military in 2013.
Obaigbena who has been invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over the ongoing investigations into the mismanagement of the sum of $2.2 billion budgeted for procurement of weapons for the armed forces when Sambo Dasuki was the NSA said this in a statement he released on Friday as published on Thisday.
Obaigbena in a response to the letter of invitation , 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.”
“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 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.
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.”
“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.