Home » UK court bars Nigerian media mogul Nduka Obaigbena from serving as Arise TV director

UK court bars Nigerian media mogul Nduka Obaigbena from serving as Arise TV director

by Ishioma Emi

A UK court has barred Nigerian media mogul Nduka Obaigbena from serving as director of Arise Network Ltd. for seven years. 

The judgment came on April 8 following the company’s compulsory liquidation. The liquidation was prompted by a debt default to creditors dating back to 2013, Nairametrics reported

Obaigbena is the founder of ThisDay Media Group and Arise Networks Ltd. (which owns the Arise New Channel and Arise Magazine). He has been the sole director of the company since its incorporation on Oct. 30, 2012.

Anthony Hanon, an official receiver at the Business and Properties Court of England and Wales, made the application for disqualification under Section 6 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986. The court evidence relied upon two reports from Hanon dated April 10, 2018 and Feb. 26, 2019, respectively.

In the judgment, the court stated that as of Dec. 31, 2013, the liabilities of Arise Networks Ltd. amounted to losses of £3,854,112 ($5.3 million), with trade and expense debts of £1,545,883 ($2.13 million) and related company debts of £3,094,260 ($4.25 million).  

On April 22, 2016, the company’s liabilities increased to losses of £25,671,167 ($35.3 million), trade and expense debts of £5850730 ($8.03 million) and related company debts of £20,313,691 ($28 million). The company came under increasing pressure in 2014 as it operated zero turnovers since inception and was wholly dependent on funds raised through associated Nigerian businesses. 

Obaigbena was accused of trading at the detriment of creditors. 

The increase in liabilities during the period from December 2014 until liquidation exceeded £2 million ($2.75 million) in relation to unconnected creditors and more than £5 million ($6.87 million) in relation to connected creditors, according to the court.

Although Obaigbena claims to have reached an agreement with investors, the fact that they continued to chase him for payments negates those statements, Nairametrics reported. 

It has been a stormy sail.

In 2013, Obaigbena signed a partnership deal with Globecast to ensure that Arise TV would operate smoothly. Globecast agreed to provide satellite transmission on Astra 2G for broadcast on the UK Sky platform and Hot Bird for cable distribution, with bases in London, New York City, Johannesburg and Lagos.

Subsequently, on Feb. 4, 2013, Arise Networks Ltd. launched Arise News. The TV news channel focused on Africa and broadcasted 24 hours a day from its news hubs in London, New York, Johannesburg and Lagos, Proshare reported

The company hoped to have a strong footprint in Africa and serve underserved communities in the United States and other parts of the world. During the launch, Obaigbena said the company’s efforts would “concentrate on robust journalism anchored on the  imperatives of the marketplace.”

But the business has not run smoothly for the mogul. In May 2013, his news staff went on strike over the non-payment of salaries. Obaigbena managed to clear the debt.

In 2016, the TV channel’s staff began to complain about salary payments when Obaigbena was detained by Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for fraud. The EFCC was carrying out an inquiry regarding a $2.1-billion fund intended for arms procurement.

The Independent reported that the EFCC sought to speak to him about a N650-million (£2.28 million) payment from Colonel Sambo Dasuki, Nigeria’s former security adviser.

Obaigbena, however, claimed the money was compensation paid to his ThisDay newspaper by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration after the Boko Haram bombings of the newspaper’s offices in Abuja in 2012.

You may also like


The world’s premier source of news on Africa’s billionaires and UHNWIs.


Get the daily email to stay informed about African billionaires and UHNWIs. Get informed and entertained, for free.

Latest News

@2024 – Billionaires.Africa. All Rights Reserved.