N244m NFLL scandal: Document used to ferry cash from Zenith Bank was forged

*Jalla drags parties to Police, EFCC

*NANF breaks into two?

* EFCC acted ultra vires in releasing TPL draft

*FCT Water Board denies bill used on Zenith Bank

By Olajide Fashikun, Sandra Onyekwere, Oluwole Francis

New twists are becoming public in the ongoing controversies surrounding the N244million Nigeria Football League Limited (NFLL) broadcast money. www.gongnews.net checks show that the National Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF) may have broken into two whereas, the utility bill used to get Zenith Bank Nigeria to release the money was forged by some officials of the former NFLL in their quest to collect the money late last year.

Isaac Danladi, Larry Kubeinje, Harrison Jalla, Tunji Babalola…major actors of the whole issue

Harrison Jalla and Larry Kubeinje may be leading different arms of the National Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF).

Harrison Jalla, described by Kubeinje’s faction as erstwhile President, has sent a new petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

According to Jalla, “based on our petition, the ant-graft agency (EFCC), ordered television rights holders, Total Promotions Limited (TPL) lodged the N244m Union Bank draft, which was part of the money for three league seasons, with the Lagos division of the EFCC on 23rd June, 2016.

Ex-NFLL accounts clerk, Esther Adesuyi, who is Signatory B to the league body’s account and Tunji Babalola (ex-NFLL secretary and account signatory A) facilitated the transfer of the money from the NFLL account to the Club Owners Association of Nigeria account.

As far as Jalla was concerned, Club Owners Association of Nigeria is “an unrecognised in the NFLL’s articles and memorandum.” In response, Isaac Danladi questioned his personal or corporate injury.

Our source insisted that, all the clubs that played in the three seasons got N6m each, those who played two seasons got N4m and those who played one season got N2m. 25 clubs in all got paid.”

Ambassador Chris Giwa…every kobo of the money will be collected back

Forged water board bill: In view of the letter from the NFLL Board set up by the Ambassador Chris Giwa faction of the NFF, signed by Kasali Obanoyen to Zenith Bank, the bank requested for utility bill. A Federal Capital Territory Water Board bill that was made available and used to transfer the money may have been forged.

According to Danadi, “we paid up the outstanding utility bills on the Karaye NFLL secretariat from the money.”

Our double checks revealed that the FCT Water Board management had issued bills to 31 Karaye Street, Garki II, Abuja headquarters of the NFLL with the name Mary Okoli, with account number A03-092892-GK2.

However, the new water bill with the name Nigerian Football League and account number A03-086776-GK2, with address number Flat 1, Block1, Plot 64, 31 Karaye Street (A03), Garki II Abuja, was presented at the NFLL office immediately the money was paid into the former league body’s account.

Kasali Obanoyen NFLL Executive Secretary…fingers Zenith Bank in the fraud

According to our source, when it was obvious that Kasali Obanoyen was standing between the hawks and the money, “we went to water board to make the change of name and they gave us the money we owe them. I told them we’ve been paying and they also requested to see our bills. And we paid.” This tallies so far with what Danladi told www.gongnews.net

When we contacted Kasali Obanoyen, he said, “I discovered that the bill for October 2016, which was delivered to the NFLL office in December, had the Nigeria Football League Limited (NFLL) as the customer name and not Mary Okoli, as was the norm.

The strange development, Obanoyen said, caught his attention. However, to his shock once again, the new bill for December 2016, which was received by the office on 11th January, 2017, reverted to the old name Mrs. Mary Okoli.

“For the last eight months, the consistency of the previous bill in the old name of Mary Okoli is evident and demonstrated for everybody to see,” Obanoyen said, while displaying all the water bills in the last eight months.

“But the interesting part of it is that on the 17th January, a new bill was brought. One would have expected the bill to continue to read Nigeria Football League. Incidentally, the bill reverted to Mary Okoli.

“The utility bill that was eventually given to the bank, forming the basis for which the money (N244m) was transferred to the club owners’ account, was cloned. Going by the information and the papers from the FCT Water Board, that bill never emanated from them.”

Confirmation of fraud: A staff of www.gongnews.net who was asked to clone himself as an NFLL staff got to the the Area 3 headquarters of the FCT Water Board, Abuja, to clarify both bills (Mary Okoli and Nigerian Football League). From the official file of the premise, the one which had Mary Okoli as name was on the database. The one with the name “Nigerian Football League Limited” was not on their database.

Another reporter returned there last Tuesday. The FCT Water Board customer care staff, Azizatu Ibrahim, typed in account number A03-092892-GK2 on Mary Okoli’s bill, all the details on the bill emerged.

She typed in account number A03-086776-GK2 which is what is on the Nigeria Football League Limited bill, the name of another customer, Mr. Mohammad Bashir, came up, instead of the NFLL.

Incidentally, both bills had A03-086776-GK2 as their account numbers. The ARB numbers on both bills had 1820257066, the meter numbers were 51295078, installation dates were 21st April, 2008 and meter types: R900AMR.

Certainly, one is fake and the other genuine. Mrs Ibrahim said she’s not seen this kind of mix up before. She checked again and held the particulars of the receipt with Mary Okoli as the genuine one.

She said in her own words: the Nigeria Football League Limited bill is not from us. It’s not our office that gave them (Nigeria Football League Limited) this bill; we don’t have Nigeria Football League Limited on our system or on our database.”

It would be recalled that Ambassador Chris Giwa had told www.gongnews.net that, “we know there was fraud involved. Everyone who participated in the mismanagement of that money will pay back.”

Obanoyen in the chat recalled that, “we wrote a letter dated 7th November, 2016, addressed to the Branch Manager, Zenith Bank, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja, (a copy which he showed this reporter from a file) informing the bank of the lodgment of N244m Union Bank draft to the NFLL account, adding that a new interim board headed by Dr. Sam Sam Jaja was in charge at the NFLL.”

Barrister Eustace Nwaozuzu…EFCC could not have been a debt collector

EFCC acted ultra vires in releasing that draft: Abuja-based legal practitioner who has been following the Glass House conflict, Eustace Nwaozuzu told www.gongnews.netI want to personally believe that the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, may not be aware of the N244m.”

According to Nwaozuzu, “there are several Supreme Court judgements that say that security organisations are not debt recovery agencies. Secondly, under our laws, the EFCC have no right in the first place to collect the N244m draft from Total Promotions Limited.

He submittedd, “I must say that the question of a debt being owed is not a subject of any investigative authority like the EFCC. The Supreme Court has said repeatedly that none of these agencies—the police, the DSS, EFCC – are not debt recovery agents and cannot say they want to recover N244m from TPL as a debt because the company didn’t owe EFCC.”

“Its not the EFCC that is being owed here. What interests me here is, what authority does the EFCC has on the same money they went to collect? Particularly, when this money, according to one of your reports, had been a subject of litigation on the broadcast rights in a Lagos High Court, for which orders were made. This is a live matter and it’s still a matter pending in court. I think the best approach is to stay off and allow the court do its job.”

Directors of the NFLL or and Total Promotion Limited can sue jointly or severally Zenith Bank and EFCC to make their monies available to them. I read where the Total Promotions folks were quoted to have said, they never denied having the NFLL monies with them but will wait till they are out of court to release the money.”

Harrison Jalla said, “we have already dragged the matter to both the police to investigate the criminal part while we have also petitioned the EFCC. One of the club owners need to account for the N19million he privately made from the N244million.”

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