SaharaReporters has learned that the publisher of Thisday newspaper and the owner of Arise TV, Nduka Obaigbena, surrendered to agents of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja at 10:00 A.M. this morning.
Mr. Obaigbena is one of the primary players in the unfolding $2.1 billion arms scandal which has rocked Nigeria. The media mogul allegedly received N500 million to provide positive coverage of former President Goodluck Jonathan during the 2015 presidential elections.
In a letter to the EFCC, Mr. Obaigbena claimed he received the money on behalf of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), although he denied that the funds came from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
He also implicated several other publishers of Nigerian newspapers, which resulted in many media houses publishing denials that they ever received cash from Mr. Obaigbena.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that Arise TV was abruptly brought off the air in London over a £3m debt, including nearly £1m owed to Arise TV employees.
The media outlet had offices in Johannesburg, London, Lagos, and New York. A SaharaReporters correspondent visited the New York offices of Arise TV, and spoke with an anonymous source. This source informed our correspondent that all of the equipment formerly owned by Arise TV had been seized.