Dasukigate: Blueprint Refunds N9m To NPAN

Dasukigate: Blueprint Refunds N9m To NPAN

By Chris Suleiman, Abuja

The Board of Directors, Blueprint Newspaper has refunded the N9million compensation paid to newspaper owners whose copies were seized by security agents under the immediate past administration.Executive Director, Operations, Salisu Umar, disclosed this in a statement  yesterday, said a GTB  bank draft of N9million, had been paid to the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN).
The statement reads: “The infraction on the rights of some newspapers by some agents of the Federal Government was widely reported in 2014. Specifically, the said agents seized numerous copies of the affected newspapers, including Blueprint.  And  in line with the dictates of the rule of law, the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) and the affected members chose to head to court for redress.

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“In its wisdom however, the Federal Government led by the then President Goodluck Jonathan, after a peace parley  with the NPAN leadership, agreed  to an out-of-court settlement, consequent upon which the affected  media organisations , including Blueprint  Newspaper, got  N9miilion each. This decision, to any reasonable mind is very much in order as it simply demonstrated that the Federal Government rightfully admitted its wrongdoing.

“However, in view of the unfolding development surrounding the arms deal investigation ,  which supposedly revealed that the restitution was  paid from fund set aside  for arms deal, the Board of Directors, has refunded same (N9million) via a GTB bank  draft No 04378726, drawn in NPAN’s name, dated February 1, 2016, and forwarded to NPAN  Secretariat. In the least, this will certainly put to rest some misgivings that have been on over the compensation paid to media owners.

“May we also add here that more than any other thing,  the board considers this a great sacrifice if that would only uphold the integrity of the media as a member of the Fourth Estate of the Realm and the true watchdog of the society.

“Finally, we shall continue to abide by NPAN’s decision on this and any other matter bordering on its members’ interest. “

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