Thursday, April 24, 2014

EFCC docks NPL Acting Executive Secretary over N15m fraud

Published:

Tunji Babalola, Photo: supersport.com

NPL goes through another storm.

The Acting Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Premier League, NPL, Tunji Babalola, was on Monday docked by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly stealing N15 million belonging to the league.

Mr. Babalola, who was recently appointed as the temporary head of the league body amidst ongoing football crisis, was arrested at his office at the NPL secretariat.

He was still being detained as at the time of filing this report.

Early this year, a former Chief Accountant of the NPL, Joe Ogbewe and another staff, Tolu Ogedengbe, a former driver at the league’s office, were arrested and detained by the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, for the theft of the money.

Anti-corruption officials believe the money originated from Mr. Babalola. The money was allegedly cashed by Mr. Ogbewe after Mr. Babalola signed the cheque.

Sources at the NPL secretariat say that officials of the football administration are making frantic efforts to secure Mr. Babalola’s release.

The EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, could not confirm the reason for Mr. Babalola’s arrest, saying he had not been briefed about the arrest.

Also, the spokesperson of the Nigerian Football Federation, NFF, Demola Olajire, said he heard about the arrest but had no details about it. Mr. Olajire would not speak about the NPL crisis.

The NPL is a semi-autonomous part of the NFF.

The NPL has been ridden with crisis in recent times with the league body’s leadership facing various allegations of corruption.

The league is currently being managed by an interim body after its last board was dissolved in a controversial move by club owners.

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