The publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Thisday newspaper, Nduka Obaigbena, has disclosed that he collected N670 million as compensation for attacks on his newspaper’s offices in Abuja and Kaduna in 2012, from the immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki.
This revelation was brought to light while he was 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.
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.
Read letter below:
According to Mr Obaigbena, 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.”
“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,” Obaigbena concluded.