More facts have emerged about the recent alleged shady broadcast right contract signed by the Nigeria Premier Football League, NPFL, and cable outfit, StarTimes.
Many Nigerians had expressed concern over the deal describing it as possible daylight robbery on the Nigerian league and stakeholders, some of whom have vowed to fight the scam until there is justice for the league.
Former Gombe United Chairman, Alhaji Gara Gombe Shuaibu, has led a one-man riot squad against what he termed a disgrace to football lovers, a monumental scam and an embarrassment to Nigeria as a country. He has literally stormed power centres with placards urging the government to stop the rip off while also on a journey to the Nigerian Governors Forum to expose the alleged shady deal since most football clubs in Nigeria are owned by state governments
There was, however, a twist to the whole drama on Tuesday when the Managing Director of TotalPromotions in a letter to StarTimes warned of the legal obstacles while the broadcast deal would not see the light of the day revealing that the broadcast right still legally resides with his company, further stressing that there has been an interlocutory injunction from the High Court retraining all parties from tampering with an existing contract between the NFLL and TotalPromotions. According to him, the case is now at the Court of Appeal after the League Management Company appealed the High Court verdict but abandoned it since then.
Like a bolt from the blues, seeming facts are oozing out that the deal between the NPFL and StarTime may have actually been facilitated by an influential money-bag in the NPFL board who allegedly acquired 20 per cent shares in StarTimes recently. An impeccable source revealed that the said board member allegedly did everything to railroad the board from agreeing to any counterpart offer
As at the time the contract was signed, StarTimes had not a single Outside Broadcasting Van, OB Van, to telecast live matches. But as part of his 20 per cent shares in the company, the rich board member pledged to acquire four OB Vans for StarTimes before the end of the league season to enable the outfit to show four live matches a week. .
The first OB Van, according to our source, reportedly arrived Nigeria this week hence the promise of live coverage for the November 18 MatchDay 9 between Akwa United and Remo Stars FC in Uyo.
Unfortunately, the letter from TotalPromotions may have thrown a likely wide spanner in the plans as StarTimes is alleged to be seeking clarifications from the NPFL after going through the barrage of documents – court injunction, Justice Donatus Okorowo judgment, Supreme Court judgment and others – accompanying TotalPromotions letter to StarTimes.