The Management of Folio Media Group (FMG), publishers of The Daily Times has raised the alarm over how Senator Ikechukwu Obiora engaged in illegal sale of DTN property on No. 16 Cooper Road, Ikoyi, Lagos to the Chairman of the DSTV, Mr. Adewumi Ogunsanya.
In a statement made available on Thursday night, the FMG said: “We have it on good authority that Senator Obiora negotiated with Ogunsanya on a price of N1.5 billion while the senator collected N700 million from the DSTV boss”.
It added that Senator Obiora forcefully evicted the legal tenants of the property including popular broadcaster, Mr. Patrick Oke and illegally demolished the building.
The FMG further disclosed that the former senator was able to accomplish the act through the order of a Magistrate Court in connivance with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
Tracing the genesis of the present onslaught against the DTN, the FMG stated that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) later asked the parties to maintain the status quo pending the conclusion of investigation.
According to the FMG, it is the resistance of dissipation of DTN property by the Chairman of Folio Group that prompted Obiora to resort to use of police and the subsequent arraignment of its chairman and the group managing director.
The FMG said: “We therefore wish to state that Folio Group is capable of defending the DTN and will resist any attempt by anybody to thwart the noble objective of ensuring that the DTN is alive and regular on newsstands. That is our goal and we intend to defend the objective.”
For the avoidance of doubt, this is what Wikipedia says about Daily Times acquisition in 2004: “The Daily Times Nigeria is a newspaper with headquarters in Lagos. At its peak, in the 1970s, it was one of the most successful locally owned businesses in Africa. The paper went into decline after it was purchased by the federal government in 1975. What was left, was sold to a private investor in 2004. Folio Communications Limited officially assumed the ownership of the Daily Times of Nigeria Plc on September 3, 2004 after a colorful handover ceremony that was televised. The company was not and still not a consortium. It is a Private Limited-Liability Company.
“The printing of the flagship title “The Daily Times” resumed after the assumption of ownership in earnest from 2006 till the year 2009 partially to satisfy the embedded requirements contingent upon the Enterprise Sale Deed while company turnaround and restructuring continued.
“Although the flagship “Daily Times” has returned to the streets since December 2014, further efforts have been injected towards the return of the rest viable titles, especially the Sunday Times, the Weekend Times and the Lagos Weekend to the streets.”
By Our Correspondent