Former Editor drags Gbenga Daniel, Nigerian Compass Newspaper Management to EFCC
Petitions and counter petitions written by the management of Nigerian Compass newspaper and a former editor of the media organization, Mr. Dotun Oladipo have dragged the management of the newspaper house and its chief financier, former governor Gbenga Daniels to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The petitions which was first initiated by the management of Western Publishing Company Limited (WPCL), publishers of Nigerian Compass newspaper, at the Zone 2 police headquarters against Mr. Oladipo who was a Sunday Editor and Managing Editor, Sales and Publications of the company threw up a stink when Mr. Dotun Oladipo, who has since been sacked from the company responded with a petition that blew the lid off a massive can of worm.
From the Zone 2 police command headquarters, the case escalated and was brought to the notice of the anti-graft bodies in the country - EFCC, ICPC - when Mr Oladipo revealed in his counter petition that the company among other atrocious ethical practices have been perpetrating a large scale economic sabotage against the land by compromising the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) pension scheme.
According to the petition, the company have among other things been criminally evading tax payment by its non-remittance of tax deducted from staff salaries.
This and other issues of ethics, convention and law were among the issues thrown open by Mr Oladipo's petition to the anti-graft agencies.
While the company has since abandoned the case it initiated against Mr. Oladipo at the Zone 2 Police Command for lack of substance to pursue the case, Oladipo has since taken the matter to all the relevant agencies in the country that should intervene on the matter seeking just recompense. Hereunder is a copy of same petition written to the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 2, Lagos.
38, Engineer David Ekundayo Street (formerly Ajoke Osho Street), New Oko Oba,
Abule Egba, Lagos .
08070991014, 08094000057, 08023145962, 08055206136.
[email protected] , [email protected]
July 1, 2011
The Assistant Inspector General of Police
Zone 2, Lagos.
RE: LETTER OF COMPLAINTS
The letter with the above title, dated June 15, 2011 from Western Publishing Company Limited, publishers of the Nigerian Compass and The Westerner , signed by Sina Kawonise, a Director, refers.
Let me start with a brief introduction of myself. I am Dotun Oladipo, a member of the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE) and the former Managing Editor (Publications and Sales) of Western Publishing Company Limited, publishers of the Nigerian Compass and The Westerner . Before joining the company, I have worked with Newswatch Communications Limited, publishers of Newswatch magazine; Punch Nigeria Limited, publishers of the Punch titles; and African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, publishers of the Tribune titles. My experience in the media industry spans over 20 years, with enviable records, a development that made me a choice employee for Western Publishing Company Limited, which poached me from Saturday Tribune where I was the Deputy Editor.
I joined Western Publishing Company Limited on February 8, 2008 as one of the pioneer staff. My appointment started with being the Editorial Page Editor. In January 2009, I was redesignated as the Editor, Nigerian Compass on Sunday and in December 2010 was moved to the Circulation Department as the Managing Editor, Publications and Sales. I held this office until June 13, 2011 when I was told the company no longer needed my services.
What led to this: Let me state that this was a company I helped in building from the scratch along with a few others. Shortly after we commenced operations in 2008, I noticed that things were not running well. I called the attention of the Chief Promoter of the venture and former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, to this. He promised that things would change. When I did not see any change, I opted to leave the company in December 2008. I resigned. But Daniel prevailed on me not to leave after a meeting that lasted over two hours in his Sagamu, Ogun State home.
Still, things did not change. But I continued to put in my best into the services of the company. Even by December 2010 when I was removed from my primary editorial job to become the head of the Circulation Department, due to the challenges the department had, I still put in my best to make it work as most staff can attest to.
Now, let me address the issues raised in the letter of complaint sent to you by Kawonise:
A. Conversion of CP 18 AKM official car to private use: Before joining the company, there were verbal promises made to all senior Editorial staff by the Chief Promoter of the company and former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, as per the following: a car at no cost and a house close to the company's office at no cost. However, as soon as we resumed, all these changed. Deductions, contrary to what we were told, were made from our salaries for the car. Yet, those of us given the car were saddled with the responsibilities of not just fuelling the car but also maintaining it. As per the house issue, the house is nowhere to be found. So, it is commonsense that if deductions were made from my salary for the use of the car, I should on exit from the company after over three years in service, be offered the car or my deductions refunded. The company did not offer to do any of these before demanding for the return of the car.
B. N7 million advert money: All the adverts written against my name are all from the government at the state and federal levels. The one titled N2N does not exist. It was a compensatory advert because five others that were sent to us earlier did not come out well and the Presidency, which placed the advert, said it was not going to pay. It was the offer of compensation and outright pleading by me that resulted in the payment for four out of the eventual six pages. These are facts that are very well known in the office but which are now being twisted to suit the purposes of those who originated both the letter and statistics to your office. It is a very well known fact that payment for government adverts takes time. It is thus a surprise to me that the footnote on the list of adverts listed against my name said I “failed to remmit (spelling error) the above outstandings (sic).” So also is it a total lie that I failed to furnish the company with the particulars of the debtors. No one has ever asked me for it. And if indeed I was asked for it, evidence should be provided to support this. The good news is that these monies are collectable. The process for this has started and every kobo collected will be deposited with my lawyer.
C. N17 million outstanding remittance for sold newspapers: This is also laughable because in one breadth while the company said I owed it for proceeds from the sales of newspapers, in another it provided a list of those who have the money with them. It amounted to N17,991,694.00. On that list, I could not find my name. Rather, 44 names are listed there. Also contrary to what Kawonise wrote in his letter that the debts in question were recorded under me as the Managing Editor, Publications and Sales, the list shows very clearly that these were debts from May 2008 when the company started. For instance, the number 14 name on the list, Mike Ubi, was the Deputy Circulation Manager to the first Circulation Manager of the company, Tunde Dosumu. Yet after Dosumu, there have been at least five others who supervised the Circulation Department. They include Isaiah Olowere, who has left; the former Editor-in-Chief who is now a Director of the company, Biodun Oduwole; the General Manager (Finance and Control), Toyin Segun-Oderinde; the former acting Managing Director of the company, Gbenga Adefisayo; and then myself. Invariably, what it means is that if I am to be held liable, all these people also stand guilty of the offence of not collecting the sales proceeds while they were in charge. It is even more curious that I have to account for the debt of New Trend Agency (number 27 on the attached list), a company that has been discovered to be owned by Daniel's bosom friend and former Acting Managing Director, Gbenga Adefisayo. That company alone owes N3.5 million. Also on that list, number 44, is the name of a dead sales representative, Adebola David. Added to these anomalies is the fact that these sales representatives do not pay into my account. They pay directly into the company's account. So, what is my business with this process? Yet, my job specification did not state that I am a debt collector and no kobo has been traced to my account as having been paid into it by any sales representative. These facts are verifiable with the sales representatives themselves.
AIG sir, it then becomes pertinent to ask: why all these tissues of lies against me? It is because the company is owing me and does not want to meet its obligations to me, like it has failed to do with the majority of the staff who have left its employment since 2009. Most of the staff who left since 2009 are yet to be paid their final entitlements.
Among the monies the company owes me are the following:
Outstanding from a N1.280 million for the circulation of the newspaper when the company's banker, Guarantee Trust Bank placed embargo on the operation of the company's accounts with it – N380,000
Refund on circulation expenses – N48,114.
Commission on the N3.050 million INEC advert – N869,250
Payment of stringers – N445,000
Contributions to Cooperative Society – N730,000
Salary for March 2011 to June 13, 2011 at N150,000 per month.
Telephone allowance for March to June 13, 2011 at N40,000 per month.
Pension deductions and contributions.
Money deducted for PAYE but never remitted.
Three months salary in lieu of notice for the termination of my appointment as a management staff.
These are monies they have to pay and in some cases like those of the Cooperative Society and the Pensions, with interests. Monies contributed to the cooperative and the pension fund administrators are usually traded with and earn interests. So the calculation must be done with the prevailing interest rates at every point in time.
AIG sir, at any rate, I have sent copies of this my position to the bodies overseeing the running of the institutions involved in the administration and supervision of these funds: the Ogun State Board of Internal Revenue, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Pension Commission (PENCOM) and my pension administrator, IBTC Plc). So also are copies with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) for these acts that tend towards fraud.
Thank you for your patience sir.
Cc: The President, Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE)
The Chief Promoter, WPCL, Otunba Gbenga Daniel
The Chairman, WPCL, Aare Kola Oyefeso
The Chairman, EFCC
The Chairman, ICPC
The Chairman, Pension Commission (PENCOM)
The Head, Pension Funds, IBTC Plc
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperatives, Ogun State
The Permanent Secretary, Ogun State Board of Internal Revenue