The Nigerian Guid of Editors,NGE has denied receiving a cash of N50 million from Sambo Dasuki, the the former National Security Adviser. In a bid to clear NGE in the controversy generated by the N50million, Garba Deen Muhammad,president,NGE, in a statement issued by the Guild, said the N50million was federal government’s pledge towards the Guild’s building project during a fundraising event held in Abuja last year. “At the event, (Labaran) Maku, former minister of information,who represented former President Goodluck Jonathan, among other donors, publicly pledged N50million as the federal government’s contribution towards the building project. Indeed the announcement of this donation has been on the website of the NGE since April 12, 2014; and is still there for those who may wish to verify. ” Shortly after the event, the federal government redeemed its pledge through a transfer direct into the Zenith bank account of the NGE. For the avoidance of doubt, neither Mr. Femi Adesina, who was the President of the Guild at the time nor any other official of the Guild collected cash from the government as has been erroneously alleged by Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, publisher of THISDAY newspapers in a letter he sent to the EFCC and made public on Monday, January 4, 2016. Muhammad added that the funds collected by the Guild during the fundraiser have so far been invested in two projects one of which is purchasing of a property in Lagos named The Editors House while the other is payment of compensation, clearing and fencing of our 5, 600 Sqm piece of land at Guzape, Abuja, which is the site of the proposed Editors Plaza. ”In Lagos, we have since commissioned a team of engineers and architects for the purpose of renovating the property, a twin duplex, preparatory to our moving in hopefully in the first quarter of 2016; while in Abuja, we have already commenced the process of obtaining a building permit from the authorities of the FCT preparatory to the groundbreaking ceremony for the Editors Plaza building later in the year 2016.” Muhammad also stressed that the recent attempts to drag the Guild into matter in which it has no case to answer whatsoever, may not be unconnected with the NGE’s earlier statement on the anti-corruption war of the government of President Mohammadu Buhari However Muhammad said NGE would continue to remain a responsible and accountable professional group. The $2.1 million arms fund controversy has continued to raise concerns at different quarters of the country.
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