Home news Advert manager, Editors, 11 staff fired as N200million fraud rock PUNCH Newspaper

Advert manager, Editors, 11 staff fired as N200million fraud rock PUNCH Newspaper

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A major shake-up is sweeping through PUNCH, one of Nigeria’s largest circulating dailies, PREMIUM TIMES can report this morning.
The three title editors have been
removed from their posts while 11 key members of staff in the advert
unit of the paper have been fired, multiple sources in the company said.

Joseph Adeyeye, who was until Wednesday
the editor of the daily edition of the paper, was promoted executive
director, publications, while Chiawo Nwankwo, the Sunday editor was
redeployed to the editorial board.
The fate of the Saturday editor, Ebenezer Obadare, is unclear this morning. But he has also been removed from his post.
A source suggested he might be asked to
leave the paper but that could not be independently confirmed Saturday
morning as the company’s Managing Director, Ademola Osinubi, could not
be reached on his mobile telephone.
While Mr. Adeyeye’s redeployment is
clearly a promotion, it is unclear why Mr. Nwankwo was removed. He was
transferred from the paper’s Abuja Bureau, where he was head, in May
2011 and spent barely seven months on the job.
Our source explained that management had
repeatedly complained that SUNDAY PUNCH was performing poorly in copy
sales and that the editor had not been able to breath life into it to
make it more attractive to readers.
Our sources said the 11 advert staffs,
including Fatima Obagaye, senior manager, advertisement, were allegedly
fired over allegations that they diverted over N200million cash that
should have accrued to the paper from ad sales. They are also accused of
illegally earning commission from advertisers.
Contacted Saturday, Mrs Obagaye claimed she had not been sacked and denied knowledge of any fraud within the company.
Mr. Adeyeye, who will supervise the new
title editors and oversee the paper’s ambitious plan to print
simultaneously in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja, has now been replaced
by Business Editor Martin Ayankola.
Mr. Ayankola, a 1989 graduate of Obafemi
Awolowo University, joined the paper in 2009 and was a surprise pick
for the job. Some aggrieved senior editors, who described themselves as
Mr. Ayankola’s superior, described his appointment as arbitrary but did
not challenge his capacity to deliver.
For the SATURDAY PUNCH, the new editor
is Emeka Madunagu, a reporter who was until his appointment the paper’s
online editor. He had, at various times, worked as news editor and
member of the editorial board.
Toyosi Ogunseye, award-winning investigative reporter, takes over from Mr. Nwankwo as editor of SUNDAY PUNCH.
Like Mr. Ayankola, Ms Ogunseye joined
the paper in 2009 after stints in SUN and News Star. In 2011, she won
the MSD Health and Medical Award in that year’s edition of the
CNN/Multichoice African Journalist of the Year Awards.
The PUNCH is regarded as Nigeria’s
widest circulating daily and is widely regarded for its-pro-people stand
on important national issues. It is also clearly the best run paper in
the country today.
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Adebayo Folorunsho-Francis is a communicator, Journalist, blogger, business coach and, of course, a prolific writer. He has Dip (Journalism) and B.A. (History & International Relations) from the Lagos State University (LASU). The self-effacing young man has worked for national, regional and local newspapers. He had worked with THISDAY covered community news for ISLAND NEWS and corresponded with P.M. NEWS (evening tabloid). Presently, he is the editor of CITYPULSE MEDIA and senior correspondent of PHARMANEWS, West Africa foremost health and pharmaceutical journal.

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