Obaseki Spits Fire, Wants EFCC To Probe NFLL 244M Fraud

Firebrand football administrator and former chairman of the Nigeria Football League Limited, Chief Oyuki Obaseki has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to unravel the mystery behind the Club Owners fraudulent  squandering of N244 million broadcast right funds paid to the Nigeria Football League Limited by TotalPromotions recently.

The club owners conspired among themselves and shared the money even at a time when a bank has taken over the office of the league management board in Abuja over an unpaid loan of N128 million.

Chief Obaseki who spoke on phone from Benin said that he would stop at nothing until those involved in the criminal sharing of the money have been brought to face the consequences of their act.

" I feel very bad right now, knowing that the NFLL office has been taken over by a bank even at a time when they had so much money to defray the bank loan,” Chief Obaseki said."I initiated the idea of buying the building. We discussed at our board meeting that we should have a property of our own because the rent was getting too exorbitant. I set up a committee and they got the building. When I went to look at it, I was very happy. There were two buildings but I got an architect who did the marriage of both and we paid for it.” 

The NFLL under Oyuki-Obaseki had bought the property on 31 Karaye Street, Garki II, Abuja, in 2009 with a loan from Equitorial Trust Bank (now Sterling Bank). However, the league body has been unable to pay the remaining N128m balance of the loan, leading to the seizure of the property by the bank.

Ever since collecting the loan for the acquisition of the building eight years ago, the league body under various leaderships – Davidson Owumi and Rumson Baribote – as well as an interim League Management Committee and the Sam Sam Jaja board instituted by the Chris Giwa faction of the Nigeria Football Federation hasn't been able to pay a part or all of the N128m, thus leading to the action of the bank, which got a court ruling, in taking over the place.

The broadcast money was transferred from the NFLL Zenith Bank account to the Club Owners Association of Nigeria account by Babalola (ex-NFLL secretary and account signatory A) and Esther Adesuyi (ex-NFLL clerk and account signatory B) but Chief Obaseki said the so-called club owners knew nothing about the money insisting that the EFCC must ask them to pay back or be thrown to jail.

"Tell me one reason why these so-called club owners should not be in jail after it was confirmed that the water rate bill used in the transfer of the money from Abuja to Nasarawa was forged.

"I had expected EFCC to invite them immediately for questioning and be charged for forgery. They are thieves. Those of us who ran the league with our personal money never took a dime. They should ask how we sourced the initial N50 million take off grant when the Federal government reneged in giving us the money. I will personally go to EFCC to testify in this case."

Chief Obaseki, however, called on all  football stakeholders in Nigeria to lend their voices into this daylight stealing of public funds by people who have no business in football administration insisting that EFCC must investigate how much was given to the clubs if indeed they were given something.

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