Bizwoman accuses Olympian of football trial fraud, lawyer denies claim

Bizwoman accuses Olympian of football trial fraud, lawyer denies claim

- in Featured
46
0

A travel agent, Osuji Onyedikanne, has accused an ex-Nigerian athlete, Gladys Stephen, of using her company, Golden Knights International Sports Limited, to defraud her of N9.5m.

Stephen’s lawyer, Emeka Nwosu, however, denied the claim, saying N5.2m was received from the agent as a loan.

Onyedikanne claimed that Stephen informed her that she was organising trials for footballers in another country.

The businesswoman alleged that the Olympian told her to inform her clients to take advantage of the trials by paying so their names could be processed alongside other footballers that were registering for the foreign trials.

After Stephen was allegedly paid, Onyedikanne said the ex-athlete reneged on the agreement as footballers who registered for the trials had yet to travel.

She noted that Stephen had yet to return her money since she reneged on the agreement.

The businesswoman said, “In 2021, Gladys Stephen returned from Spain; she had been telling me that she was organising trials for footballers and asking me to tell some of my clients to pay as footballers, which I did.

“They paid N5,000 each for registration and till now none of those chosen players or even my clients have left Nigeria. They made over N40m, shared it among themselves and resumed with another trial edition for N10,000 registration.

“She introduced me to one Desmond, Kenneth, and Nwosu.  They lured me into paying her different amounts on several occasions as they said she was back to carry the chosen footballers. They are owing me a total of N9.5m.

“They took buck payments of N6m, N450,000, N300,000, N200,000, N500,000, N150,000, and there was a time I gave them N100,000. I have records with me.

“They promised that they were processing documents for visas with the Spanish embassy, a lawyer in Spain, and the Nasarawa State Government, but my clients and the footballers are still in the country.”

Onyedikanne said she reported the case to the Lagos State Police Command, adding that some suspects were arrested but released without any refund.

She said, “They (suspects) were arrested on April 13, 2022, and released without investigation. No communication was made to me, and they gave no commitment to pay my money.

“When I visited the command to inquire about the case, I was told that one oga called for their release on the grounds that they were to pay N1m that day and bring N2m in the next four days.

“On the fourth day, which was April 19, they didn’t drop the N1m or bring the N2m. I petitioned the AIG Zone 2, who directed me to the CP. I saw the CP and he directed me to the DCP Operations.  The DCP directed me to the Officer-in-Charge of the SIB, who invited them back to the command, but nothing has been done.”

The lawyer representing Stephen’s company, Nwosu, denied the allegations.

He said, “Gladys Stephen ran for Nigeria. What happened was that the company needed some funds to complete their project in the area of immigration clearance and proof of funds in the company’s account domiciled in Spain.

“Mrs Osuji (Onyedikanne) facilitated a loan from one Mrs Getrude Duru, who mandated their representative, Mrs Opera Onyebuchi, to grant a N6m loan facility with 10 per cent interest and a finder’s fee of N100,000. A legal fee of N100,000 was paid to their lawyer, Mr Geofery Oparajito.

“In the end, N5.2m was credited to the Golden Knights’ account. Golden Knights International Sports Limited is a grooving sports management company and a member of SWAN, and therefore does not do fraud.

“She filed a petition to the Nigeria police for a purported crime/fraud over a civil matter. Golden Knights International Sports Limited is managed by Nigerian foremost Olympian, Gladys Stephen.”

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, said investigation had been concluded, adding that the case would soon be charged to court.

He said, “When a case is bailable, we grant bail. We have concluded our investigation into the matter and we are at the point of charging the suspects to court.”

Copyright PUNCH.

All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.

Contact: [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like

28 years after, FG redeems house pledge to late Keshi

The Federal Government, Thursday, has handed over the