Background to Record Setting Swindle

Nigeria’s hosting of the 2009 FIFA under 17 World Cup championship otherwise known as Nigeria 2009 may have turned out to be a record setting swindle by officials of the National Sports Commission (NSC) and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) responsible for organizing the successful hosting of the tournament.
Soon after the conclusion of the football tournament on November 15, a rash of protestation and public suspicion heckled the quality of organization deployed by both the LOC and the NSC in hosting the tournament in Nigeria. Not a few sports stakeholders had questioned the total N12billion reported by the LOC to have been spent on hosting the tournament. The LOC was managed by Mr. Mai Nasara Ilo in the capacity of the chief executive while the supervising Ministry of the LOC, the NSC, was under the charge of Engr. Sanni Mohammed Ndanusa, chairman of the NSC and the country’s Minister of Sports.
The truth (as new facts are unfolding) suggests that the hosting of the tournament represented different motives for FIFA, the global governing body of the game of soccer and the Nigerian Local Organising Committee, the adhoc body set up to manage the hosting of the tournament.
Insider sources at the LOC swore that FIFA administrators had to go out of their ways to support when they realized in the run up to the tournament that the organization of the event was headed for a possible embarrassing failure to it. This contrasted to the reported approach of the top echelon of the Nigerian LOC who were said to be determined to cut corners for personal gains in putting together the tournament.
At the end, the Nigerian government was presented with a N6billion debt supposedly arising from the hosting of the tournament, this is besides the N9billion initially approved for the LOC by the Federal Government and an additional N3billion doled out to the LOC just about two days to the kick off of the tournament on October 14. The additional N3billion was given out to the LOC on account of the various scenarios of failure painted by the LOC to throw the Federal Government into the scare mode.

What the Security Agencies Are Discovering


The State Security Service (SSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission are reported to be involved in unearthing the shady deals that characterized the expenditure incurred during the hosting of the tournament.
Reports indicate that the reviews of the expenditures undertaken by the LOC as approved by its supervising ministry are becoming mind-boggling by the day.

The truth (as new facts are unfolding) suggests that the hosting of the tournament represented different motives for FIFA, the global governing body of the game of soccer and the Nigerian Local Organising Committee, the adhoc body set up to manage the hosting of the tournament.

A major troubling question that is yet to be properly answered by officials of the LOC and NSC is, how a fleet of 400 Peugeot cars ordered and duly paid for by the NSC simply disappeared into the air? A source in the then LOC confided that even as everybody awaited the delivery of the vehicles, nobody can, till this moment, explain how the cars were diverted.
“It is one of the major questions the security agencies are trying to resolve,” the source said.
“Except for the purchase of high budget SUVs that the top management of the LOC bought for themselves, there was a paucity of mainstream transport for the tournament, of course, the expected Peugeot cars had been diverted, it was again FIFA that came to the rescue when it imported a fleet of 78 Hyundai cars into the country to serve the transportation needs of middle ranking officials of FIFA and the LOC; so again, where did they spend the N13billion they collected?” the source further queried. “Matters usually get to a head when the LOC had to hire vehicles to convey its officials when the FIFA vehicles were not available.”


A bewildering scandalous angle to emerging revelations is the failure of the LOC to invest in building training and competition pitches.
It would be recalled that a contract was awarded for the upgrading of the country’s stadia for a very huge amount to Mallorca Nigeria Limited over six months before the commencement of the tournament, and after several visits by FIFA to ascertain its worthiness, only disappointment awaited them.
An LOC insider said that matters got a to a head in this regard so much that Engr. Ndanusa himself had to make it a part of his morning chores to rush down to the Abuja stadium to water the pitch.
“This is because he holds a heavy interest in the company that was awarded the contract to upgrade the pitches,” the insider gushed.
“We know that in a desperate effort by FIFA to justify the granting of the hosting right to Nigeria, they were ready to do anything. In the face of the obvious failure of the LOC to provide the required four training pitches in each of the hosting city, FIFA had to reduce the standard requirement from four to two pitches and was compelled to provide two synthetic training pitches and donated them to the LOC. We also know that most of the other synthetic pitches used during the tournament in the eight centres were funded and provided by Governors of the states in which those centres were located. The centre are Abuja, Bauchi, Calabar, Enugu, Ijebu-Ode, Kaduna, Kano and Lagos. Now, tell me where they spent the billions they collected,” a security agency insider queried.


“This is beside the fact that FIFA arranged and paid for the accommodation and feeding of all the participating teams including even officials of the LOC. I know that Mr. Sanni Lulu, Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation and Mai Nasara Ilo, the LOC CEO himself stayed in rooms provided by FIFA at the Transcorp Hilton. Yet the LOC claimed it paid two point something billions on providing accommodation,” the source further revealed.
“What has also been revealed is that the LOC neither purchased nor installed any public address system in any of the stadia used for the tournament. Even the CCTVs that were supposed to be installed in the eight hosting states to enhance security of participants were only installed in Abuja. What happened to the money earmarked for both the importation and installation of the CCTV?” the security source wondered.


As part of standard practice, a space is usually secured in the airport of the capital city of the hosting country’s where all participating teams and officials will arrive and depart from. To create this space, it is reported that the LOC claimed that it forced out a princely N37million. The sum went into partitioning the space, spending N7million for its perimeter fencing, fixing the toilet and laying tiles on the floor of the space dedicated for the Nigeria 2009 terminal.
“The LOC claimed they paid the sum of N7million to wash the space, we are not talking of the whole airport here, just the space,” the insider said.


To ease communication between and among LOC officials, the LOC made orders for the delivery of 700 walkie-talkies. There is strong evidence to show that payment was duly made for the purchase of these walkie-talkies but all through the course of the tournament, none of the walkie-talkie was delivered, rousing suspicion of diversion.


Inverter is the new technology introduced to Nigeria to help assuage the continuing power problems ravaging the country. The management of Nigeria 2009 LOC also decided to adopt the new technology to support its computer network and other communications infrastructure.
Report affirmed that all the idea for using inverter turned suspicious when officials of the LOC only saw that they were units of UPS that were delivered instead of the more expensive inverters that had been paid for.


Nothing would rankle the sensibility of the average Nigerians than the revelation that Mr. Sepp Blatter was left stranded at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport when he arrived the country two weeks to the commencement of the tournament.
“When the FIFA President arrived the country at about 10 p.m. there was nobody at the airport to receive him and his aides. In fact, private arrangements had to be made to convey him from the airport at about 11p.m.
“Perhaps, it was for this reason that FIFA determined to bring into Nigeria all provisions for the use of its about 230 officials, these included security gadgets and transportation,” the insider said.

WHO GETS N250, 000?

Part of the remuneration for officials of the LOC was the specific provision of N250,000 to be paid LOC board members as monthly seating allowance. Reports indicate that while the management of the LOC insisted that each member of the board was paid this stipend every month for six months, all members are denying receiving such payment for the period.


Same source revealed that FIFA had released the sum of $5.5million generated from marketing activities related to the hosting of the tournament. Even in the face of claim of N6billion debt resulting from the hosting of the tournament, the LOC is reported to be planning to spend a sum of about N12million on a send forth party for officials of the LOC that had been disengaged weeks after the conclusion of the tournament.


At the NSC, our correspondent was told that the Commission or its chairman cannot be responsible for activities of the LOC because it was an independent body and administered as such.
At the EFCC, Fortune&Class Weekly was told that the agency was continuing in its investigation of the organization of the championship.
Several calls to the mobile telephone number 08037881673 belonging to the LOC’s CEO, Mai Nasara Ilo were not picked or returned.


How Adenuga launders IBB’s money through his bank

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Perhaps the most persistent subject of suspicion in the Nigerian public space has been the nature of the business relationship between Otunba Mike Adenuga and General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd).

Adenuga owns and directly controls a massive business empire that includes Globacom, ETB, ConOil and several well heeled concerns. Ever since the 1990s when Adenuga started grabbing public attention, most Nigerians have held that Adenuga was simply one of the fronts for the very diverse economic interest of Babangida, the military General who ruled Nigeria with a mixture of guile and violence at a time when the nation’s economy enjoyed a boost of buoyancy especially during the Gulf War. Nigeria is believed to have earned $12billion within a six-month span during the Gulf War (August 1990- February 1991).

However, it would seem the closest an official connection linking Adenuga directly to Babangida as business partners was established in 2006 when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested and questioned Mohammed Babangida, first son of the former military president over his alleged ownership of 24 per cent shareholding of Globacom, the giant telecommunication company owned by Adenuga who was also briefly arrested by the then Nuhu Ribadu led EFCC.

But then, in what would become a characteristic of Adenuga’s engagements with enforcement authorities in Nigeria, the Bull, as he is fondly reverenced by his many admirers, took to his heels and fled Nigeria after he was granted bail. He would not return until a new Federal Government led by Mallam Umar Musa Yar’Adua took charge of the administration of the country.


It is now history that within the first six months of the Yar’Adua administration, Ribadu was hounded out of the EFCC and like many other matters being investigated by the agency, the matter of how Mohammed, the young man who was not known to be engaged in any form of business came about the wealth he used in purchasing his holdings in Globacom was swept under the carpet.


For an ETB’s insider, it is common knowledge that the bank branch in Minna, Niger State, must have been established to serve, especially, the needs of Babangida. According to the source, ETB’s Minna branch is located on Bosso Road, on the outskirts of the capital of Niger State and far away from Paiko Road, the city centre where most bank branches in the state capital are located.

“Of course, most of the customers that come to the Minna branch are very unusual looking people coming to collect manager’s cheques sometimes with value of up to N300million,” the source revealed.

“Most staff of ETB Minna branch have continued to wonder the kind of business the bank has with this odd looking people. When they enter the branch, every thing has to stop as the headquarters in Lagos will be directing us on how to go about making payment to these persons. Most often, we draw manager’s cheque to the value of N300million without even knowing which account to debit. The most important for us anytime any of these fellows come into the bank is just to hand over the cheque to them. It is after they would have collected the cheque that the bank headquarters would tell us to debit an internal account of the bank, that is, an account that belongs to the bank.

“We have all learnt to play dumb; of course, we know where the cheques would end up. What manner of business do we engage in Minna that we would be making such payments, sometimes up to N500million in a week. And this is not to just one person. Different people that are not known to the branch, usually come once and we don’t get to see them again. The names we get to write on the cheques are quite interesting, one would see that names were just being twisted to give them semblance of sequencing. But what can we do? We only relate to these people as directed by the headquarters in Lagos,” the source explained.
“I guess this is one of the issues the CBN/NDIC auditors were concerned with when they examined the books of the bank,” the source added.

An official of the bank that would not want his name in print, however, insisted that the CBN sanctioning of Adenuga was simply another political move by people he refused to identify.
“We don’t want to make this a media issue, we know that it is simply politics at play,” the official said.

What the CBN special examination of ETB revealed

Penultimate week, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced the result of the special examination it had conducted on the second batch of 14 banks it had performed its stress test on. The apex bank had on August 14 announced the sacking of five bank chief executives, in tow with their executive directors, as part of the outcome of the special examination of the first set of 10 banks.

Three chief executives of banks were given the boot in the second batch of 14 banks and that included the CEO of ETB, curiously, in a move far away from the sanction earlier imposed on the group of five banks on August 14, the CBN went behind the veil to specially treat Adenuga with the same sack sanction applied to his CEO. A non-executive director should under normal consideration be of little consequence to the running of the bank.

Though the Central Bank of Nigeria is yet to inform the public of ETB’s specific breaches of its rules or those for which Adenuga was removed from the board, a source with the apex bank informed Fortune&Class Weekly that the CBN identified Adenuga as the all pervading influence in the day to day management of the bank.

But perhaps, more worrisome to the auditors from CBN and the National Deposit Insurance Corporation that examined the books of ETB were the various unexplained payments made directly from internal accounts of the bank to various people through the Minna, Niger State branch of the bank. The unexplained payments, according to the CBN source, have over the years, run into billions of naira.

Ogun State Land Scare! Government Blackmails Estate Developers, Land Owners

Volume II, Issue 20

Volume II, Issue 20

Last Monday, 8 June, 2009, the Ogun State Bureau of Lands and Survey, under the insignia of the State Government, had caused the publication of what it described as a “Final Warning” ostensibly directing the attention of individuals and corporate bodies to activities of estate developers and promoters in about 14 locations in the state where real estate development seems to be intense. The Bureau of Lands and Survey described the activities of the estate developers as illegal.

The second of such publication in two weeks, the last of the same half page public notice, did get the attention of the target population it was intended for; a hail of panic seized the community of estate developers and subscribers to the former virgin lands belonging to Ogun State but which have found new attraction in value because of their proximity to Lagos State. As affected estate developers became restless, so were subscribers, they became distressed. (Read More)

BGL still upset with underwriting AIT, Honeywell public offers

It is just as well that the Securities and Exchange Commission has decided to adopt the recommendation of the Oladotun Sulaiman’s Nigeria Capital Market Reform Committee on the reversal of compulsory underwriting of public offerings.

BGL Securities Limited, one of Nigeria’s lead issuing houses and brokerage firms, is said to still be smarting from the downside effect of underwriting two public offerings last year. BGL Securities was part of the underwriters of the public offering of Daar Communications and Honeywell.

Others –

Losses, Debts Force Sale of Zain

Transcorp To Lose Hilton Hotel, Abuja

The Rogues Behind Vista International unveiled!

The exposition of the brazen breach of basic business transaction procedure by Vista International Limited, a company described as the largest paper products distributor in Nigeria, may not be the only factor that qualifies the company to be listed in the nation’s class of white collar infamy. Here.

Doing Business with Zain is suicidal – Dealers

It would seem as if major dealers of GSM network giant, continues here.

World’s Richest List: Why Mike Adenuga, Jimoh Ibrahim didn’t make it

In a direct confirmation of Fortune&Class Weekly news report of last week, the Forbes magazine, the United States of America’s compiler of the annual list of the world’s richest, Mr. Femi Otedola, Chief Executive Officer of Zenon Oil and Gas and largest shareholder of African Petroleum joined Alhaji Aliko Dangote on the world’s richest […]

Continue here.

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Tax Evasion! Adenuga May Have Problems With Foreign Banks


Conoil Plc, Mike Adenuga’s Oil Company, in trouble!

Adenuga’s Expatriate Director Resigns For Fear of Niger Delta Militants

They Say Adenuga’s Wish to Sign Off ETB Suffers Set Back

ETB: Shake-Up in Adenuga’s Bank

The Glo Advert You Never Saw

ICPC questions Tunde Lemo, CBN deputy governor

Tunde Lemo, CBN deputy governor

Tunde Lemo, CBN deputy governor

“The messy attrition that played out during the tenure of Mr. Adebisi Omoyeni as Group Chief Executive of Wema Bank Plc still echoes on months after Omoyeni had been formally removed from office. In a counter move to what turned a near violent effort to sack him from office, Omoyeni who was recalled from […]

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2009 Forbes Profile of Billionaires: Femi Otedola joins Dangote on World’d Richest List

Femi Otedola(l), Aliko Dangote(r)

Femi Otedola(l), Aliko Dangote(r)

Nigeria may have the honour of having two of its citizens listed in the 2009 edition of the annual Forbes list of the world richest. Fortune&Class Weekly can report that Mr. Femi Otedola, Chairman of African Petroleum Plc and Zenon Oil and Gas would join Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the first Nigerian on the list […] Continue reading here.

N17 Billion Debt Scandal:Yar’Adua positions to take over BankPHB from Atuche

The recent uproar over a N17 billion debt scandal involving BankPHB may have given impetus to the Yar’Adua family to start listening to the argument of close aides of President Umar Musa-Yar’Adua on the strategic need for the President to set off the process of enabling his family to take position for more dominant roles in the ownership structure of the bank.

Read the rest of the story here.