Corruption: Sports Minister in War of words with World Boxing Champion Bash Ali over alleged N13m extortion

Corruption: Sports Minister in War of words with World Boxing Champion Bash Ali over alleged N13m extortion

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..As the Buhari Minister is accused of Corruption

By Achadu Gabriel

The Minister of Youth and Sports Mr Sunday Dare has been accused as the most corrupt, incompetent and confused Minister of all time.

World Boxing Champion, Bash Ali who made the accusation in a letter he personally addressed to the sports Minister also alleged that Sunday Dare extorted the sum of N13 million from him.

“I must break the JINX that you can’t succeed in Nigeria unless you give BRIBE to government officials. I MUST. Mark my words”, Bash exploded and lamented.

In a swift reaction, the Sports Minister, Sunday Dare who described Bash Ali as Nigeria’s Blackmailer-in-Chief vowed to drag Boxer him to Court for alleged level defamation.

A statement made available to our correspondent on Sunday by the Minister’s Media Aide, John Joshua Akanji stated that Bash Ali often seeks to have his way with successive Ministers and anyone not supportive of his proposed fight becomes a target of blackmail and verbal attacks.
“For Keen followers of the face -off between Bash Ali and the Ministry of Sports, spanning the past 15 years, Bash Ali often seeks to have his way with successive Ministers and anyone not supportive of his proposed fight becoming a target of blackmail and verbal attacks.
“The last fouth Ministers of Sports, including the current one have not been spared his antics and tirade”, sports Minister’s statement alleged.

But in a formal letter the world boxing champion personally signed and made available to our correspondent, Bash Ali threatened that he’ll shutdown the ministry of sports if the minister failed to return the purported N13miliion with interest.
The letter which he also sent copies to the Pesident, the Vice President, Chief of Staff, EFCC, ICPC among other relevant government agencies described Sunday Dare as “The most corrupt, incompetent and confused Minister of all time.
“Return with interest,the N13m you extorted from me within 14 day otherwise I’ll shutdown your ministry”, Ali stated.

Contacted on Thursday 18th june2021, Bash Ali, who further confirmed the allegations promised to drag the Minister to court over the extortion for failire to comply with his 14 days ultimatum, but promised to issued another statement soon before doing so.

In the letter dated May 31, 2021, addressed to the sports Minister through the permanent secretary office, Ali stated that Sports is one of the biggest industries in the world adding that if well organized in Nigeria would earned more revenue for the government.

Also in another letter addressed the Sports Minister titled: Re: Genesis world record boxing champion fight versus corruption and bad administration in Nigeria: The Sabotage of Nigeria’s Economy”, Bash Ali stated that Dare extorted the money from him using the name of president Buhari.

“I am once again respectfully asking you to refund with interest the N13m you extorted from me in the name of President Muhammadu Buhari, obey President Buhari’s October 15, 2019 directive, keep your November 4, 2019 Promised to me, apologize to me for the defamation of character and then resign your position because you are the Worst public servant, ever.
“Failure of you to do these within 14 days from the date of the receipt of this letter will result in me shutting down your ministry. This is not a Threat but a Promised.

“I am the ONLY boxer in the world to win a world boxing championship without FIRST boxing as an amateur. I am the most qualified boxer to earn a place in the Guinness World Record (GWR) as the OLDEST to fight and win a world boxing title.
“No 2 is Evander Holyfield of the United States of America (USA). No 3 is Mike Tyson, USA and no 4 is Roy Jones Jr, USA. Simply put, I am the BEST BOXER in the world.
“In America, these American boxers are celebrated like Gods but unfortunately, I am a Nigerian in Nigeria, a country where CRIMINALS are celebrated and HEROES are relegated to the back burners.

“In 2006, I swore to the Almighty Allah that I will NEVER give any Nigerian official a KOBO to realize in Nigeria my ambition to set a GWR and 15 years later, despite facing unlimited Corruption and unprecedented level of bad Administration, I have refused to compromise until you were successful in extorting N13M from me in the name of President Buhari.

“Despite the two inaugurations of the above Local Organizing Committee (LOC) on
November 9, 2006 and January 7, 2014 by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN).

“Despite this Project being the first Project approved by my no nonsense zero tolerance for corruption and bad administration, President Buhari on assumption of office, despite letters from the FGN through your Ministry to the International Boxing Union that Nigeria is a safe country to host this historic event and that your Ministry will facilitate the quick release of the Fight money.
“Despite a third inauguration (May 21, 2019) of the above LOC by the FGN, despite President Buhari’s October 15, 2019 directive to you to meet with me.
“Despite meeting with me on November 4, 2019 where you begged me to settle out of Court the N28m awarded to me against former Minister Solomon Dalung so you can call for a meeting with the members of the above LOC to discuss how to successfully host in Nigeria the historic Fight.
“Despite extorting N13m from me to settle out of Court, you now made a 360 degrees turn to say the FGN is not and has never been involved in the hosting of this historic event because I turned down your request to share with you and your cohorts 50/50 the Pay Per View Television (PPVTV) Revenue instead of the money going to the FGN,”, Ali revealed.

Ali quizzed that “Sunday, how can you be the Minister of Youth and Sports and can’t generate a KOBO from Sport for the country? Instead, you prefer to go cap in hand to beg for money from the FGN to run your Ministry and most of the time, you claim you don’t have enough money, so some of the athletes can’t go for competition.
“You kill their dreams. You create more Boko Harams, more armed robbers etc. And because of corruption and bad administration, you try to kill a historic event that will bring Honor, Glory and Financial Growth to Nigeria. Tell Nigerians what event you have in Nigeria that will generate a KOBO for the FGN.
“Sunday, you are also the worst example for Youths to emulate because you are the most corrup, most confused and most incompetent. It is a shame that you are in the cabinet of President Buhari but you do not share his vision for a better country. It is a Shame”, Ali further lamented.

Also in his reaction, the Sports Minister, in the statement retorted that Bash Ali has not only constituted himself into a public nuisance, but his ability to peddle falsehood is worrisome and alarming.

“To stem this tide, the current Minister Mr. Sunday Dare is seeking redress in the court where the former boxer is expected answer to charges of libel, defamation and character assassination”, an allegation Ali could not comprehended when asked.
Minister Dare stated that “Bash Ali had in the past 15 years failed to secure Federal Government approval for his phantom fight with 5 successive Ministers’ refusing to buy into his project which they rightly insisted should be handled by the Nigerian Boxing Board (NBB) of Control.
The Minister said “Bash Alli has been campaigning for support to organise a so called Guiness Book of record fight in Nigeria, an enterprise considered a fraud in some quarters.
“The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development initially constituted a Local Organising Committee to assist in raising funds with the assumption that it would be private sector -driven in 2019.

“According to available information, the fight could cost a staggering 48 Million US Dollars which was not budgeted for by the Federal Government.
“The Ministry had made it clear that its mandate is amateur boxing, while professional boxing is purely a private affair under the purview of the Nigerian Boxing Board of control (NBB OF C) .All entreaties to Bash to liaise with NBB OF C to make his so called record fight a reality has been rebuffed.

“Due to Bash Ali’s incessant intimidation, harassment and false allegations against the moribund LOC members and government officials, the funds for the fight could not be raised. Moreso, the position of government at all material time was to provide a platform where funds can be raised through the private sector to support the fight.

​”Following from the above, particularly on the inability of the LOC to raise the required funds for the fight, Bash Ali resorted to blackmail and harassment of government officials to force government to sponsor the said fight. As a result of this development, the Ministry has taken a position not to be involved in any World Guinness Record Fight as proposed by Bash Ali.

“All these had led to continuous intimidation and incessant false allegations from the Boxer against successive Minister of Youth and Sports Development.
His latest antics is the weighty allegation that the Minister took part of the out of court settlement money, an allegation he now has to prove in court.
“Bash Alli over the years had made several baseless allegations against Ministry officials, former and current Ministers regarding the inability of the Ministry to raise funds for this so called project.
“The current Honourable Minister had never asked Bash Alli for a private meeting, neither has President Buhari directed the Ministry to host the fight as alleged by the boxer.
“Finally, and for the avoidance of doubt,it must be affirmed that Mr. Bash Ali has no case against the Ministry. Moreover, the said fight is a professional bout and does not fall under the purview of the Ministry which supervises only amateur sports.
“While the Ministry was trying to assist Bash Ali to stage the Boxing event which is a private sector driven project, it is important to state that at no time did the Ministry proposed to sponsor or finance the project,” the minister stated.