Nigerian League chief starts defence on corruption charges

China Acheru




Davidson Owumi

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 conspiracy to defraud levelled against him by a certain Ray Nnaji.




Owumi was invited to the headquarters of the commission on Wednesday to answer a petition bordering on a number of allegations while he was chairman of the Club Owners Association of Nigeria.




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 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 twenty three million naira (about $153,000) to the Club Owners Association of Nigeria then headed by Owumi.




Owumi, 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. They have the right to investigate any petition filed in.



“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, 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.




Contrary to Nnaji claims, the club owners association is not my company and is neither an illegal association. Instead it has been in existence for over twenty years formed by Femi Olukanmi with members like Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and others,




Owumi says 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 2007 congress of the NPL a motion was passed that one percent of the title sponsorship fee should be ceded to the club owners.




“But the truth is that in the congress of 2007, the motion was moved and adopted 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 since they have every document at their disposals.




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