2.1m Arms Scandal: The Sun Newspaper Refunds N9m Compensation To Government 

News
Less than 48 hours after the Punch Newspapers Nigeria announced that  it has suspended its membership from the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), the Sun Newspaper, a major tabloid in the country has returned the N9 million it was given by the body as compensation for some of the newspapers destroyed by officials of the government during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
 
The refunded money is part of the alleged $2.1 billion meant for arms purchase but allegedly diverted by the office of Sambo Dasuki, former National Security Adviser to Jonathan.
 
Chairman of NPAN, Nduka Obaigbena, had announced in the heat of revelations over the scandal, that the N120 million he received from Dasuki was disbursed to some newspaper organisations.
 
While some denied receiving the money, Punch Newspaper suspended its membership from the organisation, saying that it would not want its reputation dented.
 
In a statement signed by Managing Director/Editor-in- Chief of The Sun, Mr. Eric Osagie, the paper said it would not want to be part of the controversy.
 
Osagie said The Sun never knew that the compensation came from the office of the NSA.
 
"The Management of The Sun Publishing Limited has considered the public outcry and diverse controversies generated among media houses, the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) and the public over the N120 million paid by the Goodluck Jonathan administration as compensation to newspaper companies for the unlawful seizure of their newspapers and stoppage of circulation by armed soldiers in several cities across the country in June 2014.
 
"After the unlawful action of the military, to which The Sun lost millions of naira, we had signified the intention to commence litigation against the Federal Government along with other affected newspaper companies.
 
"However, at the level of the NPAN, which The Sun is a member, a decision was collectively taken to accept the Presidency’s offer of peaceful settlement in place of litigation in the interest of peace and national security.
 
"We were later informed of the payment of N120 million compensetion out of which the sum of N9 million was paid to The Sun's Management by the NPAN.
 
"At the time the compensation was paid, we had no inkling whatsoever under which expenditure sub-head in the Presidency the fund was sourced and that it was allegedly part of the funds meant for the purchase of arms.
 
"As a very responsible newspaper organisation, which places premium on ethics, individual and corporate integrity, we are certainly embarrassed by the turn of events and the unfortunate insinuations of involvement in the illegal sharing of the nation’s commonwealth and the feasting on the blood of soldiers fighting the war against insurgency.
 
"We believe strongly in our corporate integrity and principles of fairness and social justice, which have driven our business considerations over the years.In the light of the foregoing, we have returned the cheque of N9 million to the NPAN for onward transmission to the source through which it came.
 
"We have seen that the good intention not to seek redress in court has seemingly backfired.
 
"We have also given notice to our lawyers to immediately commence the process in court to redress the huge loss suffered through the actions of the military.
 
"We assure our teeming readers of our commitment to serving them faithfully and conscientiously by upholding the time-tested principles of fair business ethics, equity and social justice," the paper said.