The management of The Sun newspaper Sunday said it had returned the N9 million it received from former National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki, as “compensation” for the seizure and disruption of circulation of copies of the paper by the military in June 2014.
In a statement on the cover of its Sunday edition, it said a cheque for the sum had been sent to the office of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria, NPAN, for transmission to the office of the National Security Adviser.
The statement said: “NPAN and N120 million compensation: Our position!
In deference to public outcry and the need to protect its corporate integrity, the Management of The Sun Publishing Limited has returned the N9 million received from the Presidency through the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) as compensation for the seizure of its newspapers and stoppage of circulation during the Goodluck Jonathan administration in June 2014….
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.
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 N9 million was 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.”