$2.1bn arms scam: Obaigbena, ThisDay publisher to honour EFCC’s invitation today

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Almost one month after his invitation by the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to answer questions on alleged involvement in the $2.1 billion arms purchase scandal, Nduka Obiagbena, publisher of Thisday newspaper and Chairman of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria, will honour the invitation on Tuesday, a source close to the media mogul said on Monday night.

Obaigbena was alleged to have been given N670 million out of the $2.1 billion meant for the purchase of arms to fight the Boko Haram insurgency. by the office of a former National Security Adviser, retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki.

He has however defended the deployment of the money, stating that N550 million of the fund was for the loss he suffered when Boko Haram terrorists bombed the office of Thisday in Abuja, while N120 million was for 12 newspapers whose operations were disrupted by the military.

However, some of the 12 newspapers have distanced themselves from the money.

Peoples Media Limited, the publishers of the newspaper Peoples Daily, disassociated themselves from the group of 12 newspapers that allegedly received N10 million each from the former National Security Advisor (NSA) Sambo Dasuki, while Punch Newspapers not only dissociates itself from the scam, also went ahead to withdraw its membership of NPAN.

New Mail gathered that Obaigbena, said to have returned to Nigeria after an extensive stay abroad, arrived Monday night and was said to have made up his mind to honour the invitation extended to him by the EFCC on Tuesday.

It was gathered that he had delegated more powers to the Managing Director of the newspaper, Eniola Bello, to enable Thisday run optimally in case he is detained.

Some of the high profile personalities that have honoured the invitation of the EFCC on the issues, including Dasuki, are still in detention.

A former Chairman of Daar Communications Plc, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, was also alleged to have collected N2.1 billion out of the money.

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