Dasukigate: ThisDay publisher, Nduka Obaigbena, ‘returns’ N350m


Publisher of ThisDay Newspaper, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, has returned the sum of N350m to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), The Punch has reported.

The paper said a  top operative of the commission disclosed that Obaigbena returned the money to the commission on Tuesday.

Obaigbena is expected to pay the balance of N550million his company collected from the office of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, next week.

He was quizzed by EFCC officials on January 29, 2016 after returning from an extended trip outside the country.

The commission released him after 24 hours after he had agreed to sign an undertaking to make a refund of the money in two weeks.

“The Publisher of ThisDay Newspaper, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, has returned N350m out of the N670m he received from the ONSA,” the source in the anti-graft agency was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

“The Publisher is expected to return the rest N200m next week. You know that he signed an undertaking to return the money before they released him. That undertaking expires on Tuesday next week.’’

Obaigbena had in December confessed to receiving a total of N670m from Dasuki.

He was paid him N550 million as compensation for Boko Haram attacks on his newspaper’s offices in Abuja and Kaduna in 2012.

He said he also received N120million on behalf of 12 newspapers whose circulation was disrupted by security agents in June 2014 over suspicion their vehicles were being used to transport explosive materials.

The money for the publication was paid to him in his capacity as president of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN).

At least three newspapers – The Sun, Leadership and Blueprint – have announced a refund of the N9million they each got from the package.

Punch has suspended its membership of NPAN over the scandal.