$2.1bn arms funds: Thisday boss, Nduka Obaigbena returns N350m to EFCC

Publisher and Editor in chief of Thisday Newspaper, Nduka Obaigbena, has reportedly returned N350m to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Obaigbena was said to have paid the money to the anti-graft agency on Tuesday, February 2. Punch Newspapers reports that an operative of the commission made the disclosure on Wednesday.

The publisher had a few weeks ago, admitted receiving N670m from the Office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

Obaigbena revealed that N120m was given to the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria as compensation for losses incurred during the military clampdown on newspaper houses in 2015 while N550m was compensation for the 2013 bombing of the Thisday premises in Kaduna and Abuja.

He made the aforementioned disclosures to the Special Task Force of the EFCC, investigating the issue of arms procurement under the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

The anti-graft agency subsequently released him, after signing an undertaking to refund the money in two weeks.

A top operative of the EFCC was quoted to have said that Obaigbena would pay an outstanding N200m next week, after the initial payment of N350m.

“The Publisher of ThisDay Newspaper, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, has returned N350m out of the N670m he received from the ONSA.”

“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’s 14-day period of grace to repay the money he received from Dasuki’s office, expires next week Tuesday, February 9.

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