Men of the Nigeria Police Force, on Thursday invaded the premises of Leadership Newspapers headquarters, Abuja, carting away properties worth millions of naira belonging to the media house.
It was gathered that the Newspapers is allegedly indebted to one Senator Isah from Niger State.
The Senator had about seven years ago approached the court over a libelous publication against him by the newspapers.
He, however, won the case and was awarded 100 million Naira.
During a visit to the Newspaper’s premises, it was observed that both police operatives and court officials mandated to shut down the office were removing properties including vehicles found within the premises belonging to the Newspapers.
It was also observed that computers, office equipment and printing items were removed from the premises on the order of the court.
A Crane was also brought in to remove the generator plant serving the media house.
Speaking with our Correspondent, Salihu Dantata Mahmoud, ex Personal Assistant on Media to Interior Minister, Abba Morro called on President Muhammadu Buhari to wade into the matter.
Mahmoud noted that the matter between the Senator and Leadership Publisher, Nda Isaiah was a family affair, owing to the fact that both personalities are from Nupe in Niger State.
According to Mahmoud, “The police leading this team told me that what is happening here is a case of litigation between a former senator, Isa Mohammed and Leadership newspaper, which has to do with defamation of character published in 2008 specifically 22, April. The Court granted N100m that is what they are effecting.
“As at that time, they needed an apology which was not tendered. In the court ruling, it was stated that they should tender a retraction in the same Leadership Newspaper which the publisher refused.
“I think we are under the rule of law, sometimes as a people in the society, we should live above board, by asking for apology, it has been made easy. As Publishers, we are the mouthpiece as well as watch dogs, we should be able to show the younger ones the way. If you are dealing with politician and he asks for apologies, you do it except there is something else.
“If you look at both of them, they are all Nupes, I think it’s a shame for eminent personalities of Nupe origin like them. I think they should resolve this case out of court, I’m calling on the President as well as the Senate President and the Niger State Governor to as a matter of urgency swing into action and call both Senator Isa and Sam to order.
“People work under Leadership Newspaper, what is happening now will not affect Sam, he is already a big man, the people who work here, by the time they are not producing Newspaper, how do they feed their families? This is why I’m calling on the president and the Niger State governor to come into the matter.
“Agreed that the court has awarded N100m but it should be a family dispute that should be resolved by either President Muhammadu Buhari or Governor Sani Bello of Niger State. This is a family affair and it should be resolved out of court.”
It was also gathered that the Newspapers Publisher owes staff members for about 20 months.
A source told our reporter that the Publisher, Nda Isaiah rakes in millions on a daily bases but intentionally refuses to pay his staff.
” He lives in a house worth more than 1 billion Naira, yet he treats those working with him with disdain,” the source said.
Speaking about the terrible condition of the Newspapers due to poor management, our source said, ” Leadership has only one computer in the whole of the newsroom. All systems in the offices have crashed and the Publisher is unable to replace them. This goes to show how the Newspapers is being run. I can say the operatives are unlucky as they won’t find computers in the offices.
” And he is found of embarrassing the staff even when he is not paying. Imagine a pharmacist embarrassing and enslaving trained journalists.
”You heard about the disclaimer on Duro Hassan. This is the same guy that brought in over N130m for 400 pages of adverts. Simply because he removed N6million commission and another N2million of his salary, the Publisher dragged him to the police, and lost. Because he lost, he ordered that continuous publication of disclaimers on him. This is sad,” the source lamented.
Another source said he is being owed three million Naira salaries. He said Leadership is “dead and the killer is the Publisher, Nda Isaiah.”
“He rakes in millions from adverts and we don’t know how the monies are being spent,” the source said.