The Osun State House of Assembly has begun a probe into allegations that a sum of €10,000, Osun United’s share in the transfer fee of Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua to Manchester United last January, has been diverted into private pockets, The PUNCH has learnt.
Osogbo-based Osun United, formerly known as Prime FC, was the last local club former Super Eagles striker Ighalo played for before moving abroad to join Norwegian side Lyn Oslo in 2007.
Sources close to the club said Osun State Commissioner for Sports, Yemi Lawal, was among those invited to a meeting at the House Assembly last week over the issue.
Also at the meeting presided over by Chairman, House Committee on Sports, Adrullahi Adegbile, were officials of Osun United, led by the club secretary, Kabiru Adekunle, and the acting General Manager of Osun State Sports Council, Rotimi Oludunmoye.
Also mentioned as playing a role in the receipt of the money is Gbenga Ololade, the then acting General Manager of Prime FC, when Ighalo’s transfer to Lyn was sealed.
Chairman, Osun House Committee on Sports, Adegbile, said the committee was yet to complete its investigation.
He said, “When we got the information, we invited all the parties. After thorough investigation into the issue, I assure you, we will make our findings public. We will still invite them this week.”
An official of Osun United, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The PUNCH that €10,000 was paid into Osun United’s Access Bank account in May, adding that a former president of the club and a present Director in the Ministry of Sports were the signatories to the account.
He added that the meeting with the House of Assembly members was inconclusive.
He added, “What rendered the discussion at the House of Assembly inconclusive was that the two signatories to the account were not present at the meeting.
“No doubt money was received and there was no disclosure to at least the management of Osun United, who operates the account. We were told to return for another meeting last week Friday on the issue by the Chairman, House Committee on Sports. Unfortunately, the Assembly members were not available.
“We are waiting for them to call us for another meeting. But no doubt, €10,000 was received in May this year on behalf of Osun United and the whereabouts of the money is presently not known to the management of the team.”
When contacted for reaction, ex-acting General Manager of Prime FC, Ololade, said the House of Assembly was already investigating the matter, adding that all parties had been directed not to grant interviews until the completion of the investigation.
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