The Osun State House of Assembly has launched a probe into allegations that a sum of €10,000 (N4.5m), said to be the share of Osun United in the transfer fee of Nigerian international, Odion Ighalo from Chinese side, Shanghai Shenhua to Manchester United last January, has been diverted into private pockets.
Osun United, formerly known as Prime FC, was the last local club Ighalo played for before moving abroad to join Norwegian side Lyn Oslo in 2007.
Present at the Osun Assembly probe panel 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 as well as Osun State Commissioner for Sports, Yemi Lawal, who was among those invited last week over the issue.
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, of the 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.”
According to the PUNCH, an official of Osun United, revealed that €10,000 was paid into Osun United’s Access Bank account in May 2020, adding that a former president of the club and a present Director in the Ministry of Sports were the signatories to the account.
He said; “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 by The PUNCH for comment, 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 investigation was completed.