According to the independent UK, Nduka Obaigbena’s television channel Arise has disappeared from the airwave.
The message beneath logo of the station, which is broadcast on Sky channel 519 and which operates from prime studios overlooking Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, simply read: “Normal service will resume as soon as possible.”
Nduka Obaigbena, who is currently mired in the Dasukigate scandal, has employed many senior British journalists.
He is being pursued over a trail of debts, estimated at £3m and including nearly £1m owed to the station’s own workers.
His network faces a High Court winding up petition brought by a British television company, it also owes money to global news agencies which supply its pictures, including Reuters and Associated Press.
Among the queue of debtors is Palestine-based company 4D Media, whose journalists provided Arise with coverage of last year’s deadly Gaza conflict, as well as reporting from Syria, Lebanon and Egypt.
Arise was shut down last year after 62 workers began legal action for non-payment of wages.
Speaking to The Independent, Production Editor David Lee, who claims he is owed £20,000 in wages, expressed frustration with the current situation.
“It’s disgusting, now I’m faced with a tax bill that I can’t pay. Two staff in the New York office have lost their houses because they were unable to make their monthly mortgage repayments,” Mr. Lee stated.
The media mogul has disputed some of the wage claims, adding that his company will ride out the recent financial troubles.
He told the Independent: “We are in dispute…with some who made invalid claims which we discovered during a routine audit.
“The courts may have to determine this. Some saw Arise as a gravy train to take advantage of. They are wrong.”
He further expressed his belief that Arise would be able to complete its five-year launch plan.
“As a new business still in investment stage the revenue generation stage takes time and stability.
“We are in a marathon and not a sprint,” he added.