The Chairman of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria and Publisher of Thisday Newspaper, Nduka Obaigbena, has been issued a two-week ultimatum to return the sum of N670 million he received from the Office of the National Security Adviser under Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
He reportedly obtained the money as payment for contracts that were not executed, The Nation reported.
Obaigbena has denied being a beneficiary of the $2.1 billion arms procurement funds allegedly distributed to some influential Nigerians by Dasuki under varying pretexts, stating that any money he received was due compensation for the blowing up of Thisday offices and seizure of distribution vans of member newspapers of NPAN.
But the EFCC said it was not investigation Obaigbena per se, but General Hydrocarbons, a company where he is believed to be a director.
An EFCC statement read: “What we are investigating is General Hydrocarbons. Records from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) indicated that Nduka Obaigbena is a director of the company.
“ONSA reported that General Hydrocarbons was one of the companies that received payments purportedly for contracts without contract documents or approval.
“Between December 8, 2014 and May 23, 2015, Obaigbena received N670 million from ONSA. The reasons stated on the payment mandates are as follows: First tranche of N150 million (environmental security project) and the remaining tranches(payment for energy consultancy)
“Obaigbena said he was paid compensation of N550 million for the bombing of “ThisDay” office in Abuja but there is no nexus between this payment and the money he collected for contracts. None of the sums shows that what he got from ONSA was compensation.
“The complaint before us is that the company was given money without contractual agreement.
“By all records, Obaigbena was paid for unexecuted contracts. It is government’s funds and he has to refund the N670million”, The Nation reported.