CAF Ban on Joseph Ogabor for Bribery: Why this grave silence from NFF, LMC, NRA, EFCC?

By Daily Sports on May 7, 2018

Views: 23,656

Let me say it point blank here that I don’t fret about anybody’s threat and all that when am doing my professional job. The reason is that truth would always triumph over falsehood. Conspiracy theorists, we have come to know, have often times failed woefully and those involved exposed to nothingness before the public.

Last week’s write up gave me much strength and inclination that Daily Sports and the Column are widely read. You need to hear the names of the caliber of individuals that called to express their reservations on the attitude of the League Management Company (LMC) chairman’s tango with the Players body, Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANPF).

What I regarded as side comments from those that fed from Dikko’s LMC are trash to me and others that felt for Nigerian Players welfare. It is quite unnerving to note the plight of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) players dead and alive. I remember as if it was yesterday my encounter with Oyo State Government officials on its blunt refusal to pay the entitlement of late defence ace, Izu Joseph, who was shot and killed by the Nigerian army in Bayelsa State. Governor Abiola Ajimobi and his officials tried in vain to rubbish the write up but here one is today. Secretary General of NANPF, Austin Popo said in a television programme that the Oyo State Government is yet to pay the late player that left aged father and family. He laced his boots for 3SC of Ibadan until his untimely death in the hands of the Nigerian army which till today denied being responsible for his death.

That is one of such numerous cases in NPFL and shamefully Shehu Dikko and his LMC looked the other way till the time of writing this. The plight of NPFL players and the league are pathetic to say the very least.

It is sad what is happening to Nigerian football today. The centre is not holding. There are no two words about. What ought to be of immense worry to those overseeing the game means nothing to them. Last week we laid bare the trouble with NPFL managed by LMC headed by Shehu Dikko. If you read us on this page last week, you must have come to note with rude shock, the impunity that is personified in Shehu Dikko. He is at war with NANPF led By Dairu Sadi (MFR) an ex-international.

One ordinarily thought that Shehu Dikko would have been extremely worried at the output of the league he presides but no that’s not the case. The NPFL thrives on corrupt practices via the highest bidder among the referees and some LMC officials. It has been the bane of NPFL. As I did say, Dikko was imposed on LMC by NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, who did to pacify him for reasons best known to him.

Nduka Irabor is the one programmed for the job and he was doing well as sanity came to NPFL. For instance, the issue of referees corrupt tendencies were drastically reducing until Irabor was suddenly replaced then the monster resurfaced. You saw the quality of teams that represented the country in CAF Champs League, how they were booted out. They were the second tie CAF competition the story did not change. That is the handiwork and sign of the quality that Shehu Dikko’s NPFL is made of.  It is the shame of an organisation riddled with corruption.

A key Nigerian referee, Joseph Ogabor was banned on grounds that he wanted to bribe South African match officials for the Plateau United CAF Champions League against an Algerian side, USM Algeris in Lagos. When the news broke, I told my colleagues that it will turn out to be true. I did not watch their game against the Algerian team but my colleagues did not give the men from the Plateau any chance of survival in the return leg.

It proved right. Plateau was booted out of the elite CAF Club Championship. The Club play colourless football coupled with Kennedy Boboye’s nagging nature. The team collapsed like pack of cards. At the end of the day, it brought shame to Nigeria. CAF investigated the allegation of bribery against it and pronto nailed Joseph Ogabor. The referee was found guilty as charged. He may have been filmed or put on tape. Joseph Ogabor, by extension is one of the star referees of Shehu Dikkp’s NPFL. What example did he show than shame? It further meant that he was caught red handed. Recalled that when the Plateau United bribery saga broke, South Africa football authorities praised their men to the high heavens and hailed their resilience beating their chest as good example of what the country’s football and sundry is currently.

You can clearly see how Plateau United won Shehu Dikko’s NPFL last season. NPFL is corruption personified. It is ongoing this season. It has been avenue for revenue generation for referees and their accomplices. LMC is looking the other way because they are duly involved in the unwholesome scam. The so called Nigeria Referees Council (NRC) is a fraud. The body is rotten. It connives with clubs chairmen and assigns referees that handle their matches.

NRC is culprit to why there is renewed corruption among referees. Its officials are deeply involved in thriving sharp practices going on in Shehu Dikko’s NPFL. It is known among them. It’s a cabal. It would not have being so profitable a business if the Nigeria Referees Association (NRA) bigwigs did not endorse it.

I won’t continue with Joseph Ogabor’s shame than to say this is the way and manner the present Buhari/APC government is fighting corruption. I don’t know why CAF did not ban him for life. Joseph Ogabor is a black leg. He is a bad example and influence. Banning him for just one year meant that Ahmad Ahmad is pampering corruption.

CAF must come up with why he was banned for just one year. His offence is grievous and bad news for African referees. It must be revisited and treated with the kind of gloves it deserves. The action of CAF is influenced. CAF must be itself otherwise it has set a bad and worrisome precedence. The decision to ban Ogabor just for one year is wrong and would prove to be an ill wind that will blow Africa and her football no good as FIFA would continue to sideline the continent’s referees in its major championships.

What Ogabor committed leaves sour taste in the mouth,  not to talk of Nigeria football authorities total silence on the issue since it was made public last week. I am not surprised about that. They know what they are doing with Nigeria’s football. Shehu Dikko and his bed fellows know what is going on.

Joseph Ogabor is star referee in Nigeria. You can see why my stomach turns. You must have also come to full terms with a typical case of a country where one eyed man is the king in the mist of the bind. You may have seen why my anger boils to high heavens because of this obvious case of hypocrisy and bad system. You have seen daylight conspiracy between NFF, LMC and NRC. If you dare say nay, your name enters their bad book or red book.

I ran into a group of them at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja recently. Permit me to hold back the names.  After exchanging pleasantries, one of them joked, “we are reading how you tear us apart in your week’s write ups in Daily Sports column, SportsPulse. As an experienced man, I will suggest you exercise restraint on most issues for national interest sake. Most of those your explosive write ups restrain us from bringing you closer.”

My candid response was thanks sir; such attitude is not new to me. For instance, how will this kind of international disgrace by Joseph Ogabor be swept under the carpet despite the fact those that are supposed to drum it up have rested it and played it down.

What Joseph Ogabor did to attract CAF hammer is not different from what happened to one time FIFA executive committee member.

I am not surprised that EFCC and other anti-graft agencies have turned deaf ears and blind eyes on this case even when the international media put a searchlight on it. Joseph Ogabor is walking free in the city he resides. Even officials of Plateau United ought to have been picked for questioning since the allegation has been proved to be true. It is sad that such a thing happened. Instead of encouraging players to redouble their efforts their managers shamefully resort to short cut that expose Nigeria as corruption dripping nation despite Buhari’s noise making called anti-corruption.

Again that this corruption in our football at the international level is coming from an APC state meant a lot that the federal government’s corruption fight is not just empty but a target at political enemies and people opposed to this gunpoint democracy instituted by Buhari and APC.

No matter how, Joseph Ogabor still remains a hero to NFF, LMC and NRA officials. If you missed the full story on the CAF ban see a recap:

CAF bans Nigerian ref for trying to facilitate bribe of referee in favour of Plateau United

Nigerian referee Joseph Ogabor has been banned by CAF on grounds of attempted match manipulation in a Confederation Cup play-off tie between Plateau United and USM Algiers.

The CAF Referees Committee confirmed the decision to relieve the official of his duty for a year after confirming a recommendation from the body’s Disciplinary Board.

This comes after South African referee Victor Gomes had reported advances worth US$30000 being made to him to fix the first leg play-off encounter between both sides in Lagos; a match the Peace Boys emerged 2-1 winners.

Ogabor was said to have contacted the officials to provide Kennedy Boboye’s side with ‘technical assistance’.

“The CAF Referees Committee on 28 April 2018, has confirmed the recommendation of the CAF Disciplinary Board to ban Nigeria referee Joseph Ogabor from any official mission for one year for attempted match manipulation with respect to the Total CAF Confederation Cup 1/16th round first leg between Plateau United (Nigeria) and USM Alger (Algeria) played on 7 April 2018 in Lagos,” read a statement on CAF website.

“The decision follows investigations conducted and evidence submitted by the South African match officials of the said match, who were contacted by Ogabor to provide “technical assistance” to the Nigerian team.”

Furthermore, the Nigerian top-flight side have been warned to desist from handing out ‘hospitality gifts’ to officials while the South African Football Association [SAFA] have been asked to apologise to its Nigerian counterparts who were cleared of any wrongdoing in the bribery case.

“Also, Plateau United was cautioned to refrain from the practice of hospitality gifts which tend to create wrong impression.”

“In a related development, the South African Football Association has been ordered to render an apology to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) after investigations proved there was no evidence of whatsoever of any official of the NFF regarding an allegation of US$30,000 bribe.”

Last year, after a Nigerian Premier League match which he handled, Ogabor was praised to high heavens by NFF and the clubs who played the game (Lobi Stars and visiting Rangers which the former won.)

NFF President Pinnick had said about Ogabor: “We need more of Ogabors in Nigerian Football: Young referees who care for nothing other than to achieve excellence, through upholding the values of integrity and fairness. The NFF is proud of you and will continue to monitor your performance, just as we will work assiduously with the NRA to produce more referees who are committed to officiating matches according to the laws of the game.”

Dear readers, the last paragraph is Amaju Pinnick’s sweet remains on corrupt Joseph Ogabor. Now he has been confirmed corrupt for aiding and abetting bribery and corruption. He must be brought to book. His case must not be swept under the carpet as usual. I don’t have sympathy for people like Joseph Ogabor. He is dangerous to the development of Nigerian League but to LMC’s Shehu Dikko and Tade Azeez’s NRA, he is a genius. He has been stripped naked and must face squarely the music, Plateau United officials also. Plateau State government won’t deny its innocence. Plateau United and its government headed by Lalong must explain their roles. They are a desperate lot and must be handed requisite punishment for dragging Nigeria’s name in the mud. No Nigerian referee is selected to officiate in any FIFA/CAF games.

Let me leave judgment for you. Let’s discuss further 247 via our social media handles. It is the shame of Nigeria. Keep shooting hard till next week!!

Source Daily Sports

Posted May 7, 2018

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+


You may also like...
Nigeria’s pillar of sports, Ejidike, hails Dikko •Cautions...

Brazil first to qualify for World Cup

Arsenal boss Unai Emery to be given ‘all...

Arsenal end Wenger era with win at Huddersfield...

Let’s save Kelechi Emeteole's life! Let’s follow Omeruo,...

South Africa name Rantie, Dolly to lead pack...


Latest News AFCON 2019: Glimmer of Hope for Nigeria Usain Bolt offered Central Coast Mariners contract — Agent Steven Gerrard hails Sadiq Umar following improvement Emery wanted to sign Lacazette at PSG Hertha miss chance to go third; Gladbach go second Algeria win Silver Cup, reach top tier of African rugby Substitutes set up Everton win over Palace Stefanos Tsitsipas wins first ATP title with victory in Stockholm Anthony Martial insists relationship with Jose Mourinho is good Madrid fans call for the head of Florentino, club president Pliskova beats defending champion Wozniacki at WTA Finals Ronaldo reaches landmark 400 goals


Most Read Rangers International going, going . . . (44,447 views) Amaju Pinnick: A cat with nine lives (36,534 views) Missing $150,000 IAAF Grant: Solomon Dalung’s Hide and Seek game (35,314 views) Sports Development: Zenith Bank on the zenith (34,421 views) Current issues in Nigerian sports: Matters arising (33,708 views) Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje’s solid footprints, commitment to sports development in Kano State (33,314 views) Commonwealth Games 2018: Shame of Muhammadu Buhari, Solomon Dalung (32,669 views) Second Term: Amaju Pinnick, Other NFF Heavyweights Home to Roost •How Pinnick Broke the Jinx (32,522 views) Olopade, BET9A wave of revolution in NNL (32,383 views) NFF Presidency: Pinnick, Maigari, Ogunjobi, Okoye in Battle for Supremacy (31,567 views) Ibrahimovic’s Man U exit: Whose decision is it? And in whose interest? (29,644 views) World Cup Friendlies: Eagles Beware! (28,850 views)




News Athletics (266) Basketball (125) Boxing (515) Columnists (343) Euro Soccer Update (3353) Fans Assembly (3) From the Grassroots (44) Golf (67) Interviews (14) Live Commentary (2) News (4366) NPL Glo Premier League (957) People and Places (22) Readers Parliament (5) Tennis (467)



Classic games


Phone numbers

Tel: +234(0)8066020976

Email addresses

Office address

No 3, Adetoun Close, Off College Road, Ogba, Ikeja Lagos.

Social Media