Sunday, October 24, 2010

Owumi submits documents to EFCC on fraud claims

The Nigeria Premier League (NPL) chairman, Davidson Owumi, has tendered documents of defence at the Enugu office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) following allegations of corruption levelled against him.
It will be recalled that Owumi was invited to the headquarters of the commission on Wednesday to answer a petition bordering on a number of allegations while he was boss at Premier League side, Enugu Rangers and chairman of the Club Owners Association of Nigeria.
But EFCC Head, Media and Publicity, Femi Babafemi, confirmed that Owumi has reported to the office of the anti-graft body in Enugu and has also submitted relevant documents to help the commission with its investigation.
“He has reported to our office in Enugu I must tell you. And I have also been informed that he has submitted documents relating to all the allegations levelled against him,” Babafemi said.
One of the allegations against Owumi by a former Enugu Rangers’ boss, Ray Nnaji, who filed the petition, includes the Club Owners Association of Nigeria operating as an illegal body.
The second of a three-pronged allegation against the NPL chief is that he alongside the CEO of Rangers and one Afam Nnaji, who happens to be a cousin to the petitioner, ran a website which they used to sell players from the Enugu club illegally.
The last claim by Ray Nnaji is that Globacom Nigeria Limited paid N23 million to the Club Owners Association of Nigeria headed by Owumi.
When spoke to Owumi, he disclosed that he had submitted all documents related to the case.
“I have submitted documents to back up my answers, which the EFCC was seeking to know. I believe that the EFCC has every right to investigate allegations against public servants like myself and any other. So I will cooperate with them to make sure that the case comes to a very good conclusion. Like I have said since this case came up this week, I will not run away from being investigated because I am not hiding anything. If I drove myself from Abuja down to Enugu to face the EFCC, I can also tell you that I am ready to clear my name of any wrongdoing,” he said. was also told by Owmi the alleged N23 million from Globacom was untrue as the club owners had no contractual terms with the company and former Premier League title sponsor.
He explained that during the 2006 congress of the NPL a motion was passed that a percentage of the title sponsorship fee should be ceded to the club owners.
“I will tell you that the allegation of N23 million from Globacom is not true because the club owners never entered into any deal with the company. Globacom had a deal with the NPL as title sponsors, so it will have been impossible for the club owners to get money from them.
“But the truth is that in the congress of 2006, the motion was passed that one per cent of the title sponsorship fee should be remitted to the club owners association. The money in question is meant to cover hotel accommodation and flight tickets of the club owners during matters relating to the congress meetings,” he explained.
Owumi, however, said he will leave EFCC to carry out its inquiry into the matter.

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