Nduka Obaigbena fires more than 50% of Thisday Newspaper staff

Nduka Obaigbena
Shortly after he seemingly escaped arrest and detention by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over his involvement in the controversial Sambo Dasuki arms deal, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of THISDAY Media Group/Arise TV Networks Nduka Obaigbena is in the news again as he is reported to have disengaged more than half of Thisday Newspapers workforce in one sweep.

In a memo dated February 23, 2016 sent to senior management staff of the newspaper, Obaigbena, who has agreed to pay back monies traceable to him from the Dasuki scandal, said all staff whose names were not listed in the memo should have their salaries stopped and considered as ex-workers in the company.

The memo was addressed to Eniola Bello, Kayode Komolafe, Emmanuel Efeni, Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, Tokunbo Adedoja and Shaka Momodu. Obaigbena’s action was said to have followed the attendance he took when he did what he termed “spot check” at the Lagos office of the newspaper.

Obaigbena was said to arrived at the office on Tuesday at about 2pm and left at 7pm.

His letter with the Subject VERY IMPORTANT STAFF NOTICE, reads “Dear All: Following a continuous and continuing spot check which climaxed today on LAGOS staff on duty and working, please find below a list of bonafide Non–Editorial Lagos Staff of Thisday Newspapers.

“The spot check will continue in ALL THISDAY locations.

“Those not on the list below seizes to be staff of the company except they show with documentary evidence why they were not, and have not been at work,” the memo indicated.

Obaigbena also said editorial staff have to show that they have been working with proof of stories filed and published.

“Therefore only those listed below will be on the next payroll. If not listed, please conclude your disengagement process with the Admin department,” he instructed.

“A. Account Department:
1. Akiemughu Ezekiel
2. Olurebi Abiola Yusuf
3. Kasali Ganiyu
4. Arole Olawale
5.Alex Egberughe
6. Sambo Mohammed
7. Ngboken Odonzi
8. Sunday Adofu
9. Charles Afambu
10. Dibiagwu Uchenna
11. Amao K. Abisola
12. Raufiu Shina
13. Ariori Kamilu
14. Peter Iwegbu
15. Olufemi Aborowa.
“B. Computer Department:
1. Oku Ejiro
2. Balogun Olaitan
“C. Editorial (Photo Desk)
1. Yomi Akinyele
2. Kolawole Alli
3. Mubo Peters
4. Sunday Adigun
“D. Admin Department:
1. Adedapo Olojo
2. Megbolu Innocent
3. Emmanuel Efeni
“E. Advert Department:
1. Umoren Paulinus
2. Ogochukwu Eseka
3. Odeh Williams
4. Okwuise Ngozi
5. Ogedengbe Anthony
“F. Engineering Department:
1. Abdulmumuni Momoh
2. Peter Amoh
3. Emmanuel Hope
4. Adah Francis
5. Balogun Idris
6. Adewoyin Folakemi.
1. Ogunleye George
2. T.J Dennis Madu
3. Judith Ehireme
4. Michael Okeke
5. Ojogun Danboyi
6. Mbayilan Aindo – Akaa
“H. Pre-press Department:
1. Funke Amobi
2. Scoot Orwell
“I. Printers:
1. Adedayo Adebiyi
2. Aina Adekunle
3. Badmus Semiu
4. Chuks Okonkwo
5. Akintunde Isaac
6. Sunday Etuonu
“J. Editorial Department:
1. Davidson Iriekpen
2. Martins Ifijeh
3. Funke Olaode
4. Crusoe Osagie
5. Roland Ogbonnnaya
6. Abiodun Ajala
7. Sunday Okonbi
“K. Office of Chairman:
1. Ayo Arowolo
“L. Legal Department:
1. Okwuchi Nwaamaka Chukwuma
“M. Executive Floor:
1. Alailedoye Bunmi
“N. Security Department:
1. Omotosho Abiola
2. Lovey Asuquo Essang
3. Nwachukwu Eugene
4. Samuel Alaku
5. Ebhoma Lucky
6. Abu Stephen
“O. Procurement Department:
1. Joseph Ebere
“P. Transport Department:
1. Benjamin Faloye
2. Hassan Afeez
3. Adebayo Kayode
4. Abdullah Alaran
5. Oluwashola Ayeni
6. Akintayo Ademigoke
7. Oladele Sunday
8. Lanre Akande
“Q. Press Attendant/Inserter
1. Erinle David
2. Olaojo Tunde
3. Abazu Ugochukwu
4. Dada Ezekiel
5. Chigozie Abalum
6. Lawal Kehinde
7. Mbah Kalu
8. Kolawole Ebietomiye
9. Kunle Seun
9. Wahab Tope.
1. Eniola Bello
2. Kayode Komolafe
3. Ijeoma Nwogwugwu.”

Obaigbena further directed some staff of the Accounts Department to prepare a new payroll for another month based on the list.

“We will try and pay up current month plus one month arrears every month at least,” the memo added.

It was gathered that staff usually stay away from office for two reasons. One was the issue of outstanding salaries. The second was that due to an ongoing renovation work in the office complex, there are no chairs for staff.

After Obiagbena’s surprise visit, head of units in the Editorial Department were directed by their Editors to compile the list of stories sent by reporters under them on the day in question.
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