NGE Exonerates Adesina, Deny Receiving N50m From Dasuki | Independent Newspapers Limited
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NGE Exonerates Adesina, Deny Receiving N50m From Dasuki

Posted: Jan 7, 2016 at 10:22 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Temidayo Akinsuyi


The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) on Wednesday rose in defence of its former president, Femi Adesina saying he did not receive any cash payment from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

President of the Guild, Garba Deen Muhammad, in a statement made available to newsmen said it is untrue that his predecessor, now the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media, Femi Adesina, collected N50 million in cash from former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Mohammad said the amount was the contribution of the former president at the N850 million fundraising dinner on April 10, 2014 for the building of a befitting secretariat to be known as the Editors’ Plaza.

The president of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria, NPAN, Nduka Obaigbena, had on Monday accused the body of complicity in the $2.1bn arms procurement scandal.

The NGE has called for a thorough probe by the Buhari administration into the arms procurement scandal, but ThisDay publisher, Obaigbena, in a letter to the EFCC dated December 30, had wondered why the editors were vocal in their call for an investigation when they benefited from the slush fund themselves.

“Even when he (Dasuki’s aide) suggested that The Nigerian Guild of Editors – NGE – who are now calling for a probe – was paid N50,000,000 cash by the ONSA when President Jonathan donated to the building of the NGE secretariat, I still refused to collect cash. And in any case, I had no independent confirmation the Nigerian Guild of Editors had collected cash,” Obaigbena said.

According to the statement, the NGE had on April 10, 2014, held a fundraising dinner at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, to raise N850m for the construction of a befitting secretariat in Abuja, to be called The Editors Plaza.

“It was a public event, attended by several dignitaries among them federal cabinet ministers, state governors and captains of industry or their representatives.

“Former President Goodluck Jonathan was invited to the event at which he was represented by the former Minister of Information and National Orientation Mr. Labaran Maku.

“At the event, Mr. Maku, among other donors, publicly pledged N50million as the federal government’s contribution towards the building project. Indeed the announcement of this donation has been on the website of the NGE since April 12, 2014; and is still there for those who may wish to verify.”

The body of editors said after the event, the Federal Government redeemed its pledge through a direct fund transfer into the Zenith Bank account of the NGE.

The editors reiterated categorically that neither Femi Adesina, who was the president of the Guild at the time, nor any other official of the body collected cash from the government.

Muhammed further said the funds the NGE collected during the fundraiser have so far been invested in two projects.

He listed the projects as the purchase of a property at No. 24, Mojidi Street, Off Toyin Street, Ikeja-Lagos which has been named “The Editors House,” and payment of compensation, clearing and fencing of a 5,600 square meter piece of land at Guzape, Abuja, which is the site of the proposed Editors Plaza.