THE Board of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) has described the fraud allegation of the Chief Executive Officer, Z.A Entertainment, Effurun, Delta State, Azania Omo Omo-Agege, on the Corporation concerning the MoU his organization had with NTDC in the build up to the 2014 World Cup as an attempt to defraud the Corporation, and blackmail the person of the Director-General being a woman.
The legal team added that Omo-Agege resorted to blackmail when he could not achieve his fraudulent attempt on the Corporation.
In a release, directed by the board and signed by the legal adviser of the Corporation/Board Secretary, Mrs Funebi Otu-Umondak, was made available to reporters in Abuja, the MoU gave responsibility to: “get sponsors for the NFFV project in Brazil 2014 and to drive same, and to construct the NFFV in Brazil 2014 and also be responsible for the maintenance of same for the entire duration of the World Cup.”
The board made it clear that as at the time the World Cup started, ZA failed to get sponsors for the project but gave NTDC the impression that he he had paid for and completed the hall for the event inviting the corporation to open the event and that funding was in place.
The release read: “It was only on arrival in Brazil that NTDC shockingly realized that there was no construction of the NFFV on ground.
“ZA Entertainment in the person of Azania Omo-Agege capitalized on the fact the DG was no longer in Nigeria and decided to blackmail her and frustrate the project by attempting to foist a bill of $8,000/per day for 30 days on NTDC, demanding that she pay cash to him or face disgrace in the press knowing fully well that the Corporation was lean on funds and could not afford to pay such a bill. It was even on this premise (lack of fund in NTDC) that his proposal to source for funds for the fans village was approved by the board in the first place.
“Prior to this time, NTDC had given him $10,000 to assist with the project on the promise that he would refund it from monies he was expecting from sponsors.
“At this point, the DG had no alternative than to get an affordable venue for the fans village in two different venues rather than abort the project in its entirety and return back without gaining any grounds for the country. Without spending $8000 a day for 30 days the event was successfully hosted by the corporation at no cost to the corporation
“It is surprising for NTDC to hear the allegation of Omo-Agege when he was the one that breached and frustrated the MoU, and even when he was given money he still did not perform.
“We need to state categorically that NTDC is a government organization, and as much as we want to work together with the private sector, we will not encourage any party or parties interested in defrauding or trying to take financial advantage of the Corporation.
“NTDC board of directors endorsed the NFFV project and on many occasions facilitated and supported ZA Entertainment; with the good intention of ensuring that Nigeria had a befitting fans village worthy of emulation, unfortunately Omo-Agege could not keep up with his promise to construct the village as was expected.
“NTDC did not, at any time, raise money on his behalf to construct the village therefore he cannot reap where he did not sow.
“NTDC categorically states that no sponsor, either banks or corporate bodies, have given NTDC or paid into NTDC account any amount for the construction of the NFFV in Brazil and therefore refuTes any such allegation.”