Hurricane Dasukigate that had put some media houses in the country in the intergy court, continued to claim victims on Sunday as the management of The Sun newspaper said in a statement that it has returned N9m it received from the office of the National Security Adviser “as compensation for the seizure of its newspapers and stoppage of circulation during the Goodluck Jonathan administration in June 2014.”
It said the the N9million cheque had since been returned to the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), for onward passage to the office of the National Security Adviser.
It was reported recently how some newspapers got compensated for their seized newspapers. The Punch, Guardian and Tribune newspapers have since resigned their membership NPAN over the issue.
The Sun newspaper is published by former Abia State Governor, Uzor Kalu.
In a statement signed by the Managing Director/Editor-in- Chief of The Sun, Eric Osagie, said it took the decision following the controversies, which the payment of the compensation had generated and the need to come clean on the matter.
The statement read in part: “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 N120m 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. Having reviewed the situation, we wish to state as follows:
“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 compensation out of which the sum of N9m as paid to The Sun 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 organization, which places premium on ethics, individual and corporate integrity, we are certainly embarrassed by the turn of events and the unfortunate insinuation 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 statement added.