Credible sources can now confirm that Segun Adebutu, son of renowned lottery figure, Kensington Adebutu, popularly known as Baba Ijebu, is not in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) contrary to reports and insinuations by some online news platforms.
According to the family source, Segun Adebutu, was neither arrested by the EFCC or any other law enforcement agency. What has been twisted out of context is the dutiful honouring of an invitation from the EFCC as a law-abiding citizen, who has nothing to hide. “The businessman merely opted to go to the EFCC on behalf of his father concerning a petition filed by Senator Buruji Kashamu, an Ogun State politician and the owner of rival lottery company, Western Lotto.”
A Wednesday, January 29, 2020 story published in thisislagos.ng (read here) poohpoohed the claims when it reported that Adebutu was spotted at popular Ikoyi lounge, “The W” late Tuesday night till the early hours of Wednesday in the company of employees and potential business partners. A picture taken at the scene further invalidated the rumour purporting that he is detention.
Contrary to popular belief, a reliable source told newsmen that the malicious rumour pertaining to his detention is nothing but a deliberate and petty attempt to smear the solid reputation of the lottery mogul.
According to him ‘Some competitors in the lottery business have envied Premier Lotto’s track record of successes without appreciating the amount of work that has gone into the company over the decades,” he said.
Many will recall that Kashamu continues to deny his involvement in a drug related felony in the US where he has been declared a wanted person.
He was, however, quick to alert the EFCC via a petition filed by his company, Westeen Lotto, to what he said are unscrupulous dealings in the betting industry while denying his participation in duplicitous acts. He claims to have notified the court about the corrupt practices in the industry because of his interest and concern for fellow Nigerians.
“It is highly irresponsible for a man who is alleged to have committed such grievous crimes to embark on or sponsor a campaign of calumny against an octogenarian who has created indelible footprints in the lottery industry and his family,” a source disclosed.
Kashamu was accused by a lottery commission official of filing the petition against Adebutu in order to monopolize that segment of the betting business in Nigeria.
“What we learnt is that Buruji Kashamu said he has sole rights to ‘Ghana Games’ in Nigeria,” an official confided under anonymity because the lottery commission is still considering a unified response to the EFCC investigation. “But he should not burn down the entire industry to further his business interests.”
A group has also sensitized the public that the antics of Kashamu and attributed this to politics. Kashamu was just recently a bitter rival to another of Chief Adebutu’s sons, Ladi, in the race for the Ogun State gubernatorial seat. A Civil society organization, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution (CDNDC) cautioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against being used by to settle flimsy political scores.
According to the group’s convener, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, in a statement; “Our attention has been drawn to a petition written against Baba Ijebu’s premier lotto by Western Lotto company, owned by a controversial businessman who is wanted in the United States, Buruji Kashamu.
“The EFCC which is yet to act on a number of petitions written by unencumbered Nigerians against some prominent politicians in the country for trading in vote buying, has now found it so cheap to go after Baba Ijebu’s lotto company, acting on a petition from a fugitive.
“If there is indeed a reason to write petition against any company over tax evasion, the appropriate agency to first write is the FIRS, which has the power to invite the EFCC to do the needful, but Buruji chose to directly engage the EFCC to serve his political interest.”