ON March 14, 2017, the Permanent Secretary (PS) in charge of President Muhammadu Buhari’s State House, Tijjani Umar, allegedly signed a $12 million controversial licensing agreement on behalf of the Nigeria Basket Ball Federation (NBBF), and allegedly helped himself with over 18 per cent of the money.
This was barely three months to his tenure expiration as former head of the NBBF.
Umar has been accused of stealing $2.2 million from the money by members of the federation.
Documents obtained by The ICIR showed Umar signed an agreement that consisted of not fewer than 16 terms and conditions, some of which stated the NBBF obligations.
He described the feat as “the biggest sponsorship deal that has ever been brought to the table of the NBBF” but did not provide further details.
Umar appended his signature as the NBBF representative while Mike Mootlen, an Alternate Director to Gaetan Lan, signed on behalf of Econet Media Limited’s partner.
The firm is an international organisation with its main registered office at Standard Chartered Tower, Ebene in Mauritius. It is part of the Econet Group with 60, 000 employees in Africa and offices in Nigeria and South Africa.
Nevertheless, the multimillion-dollar licensing deal outrightly gave Econet the exclusive coverage and broadcasting right to air the Nigerian basketball games across any channel owned or operated by it or its subsidiaries in the Econet Group.
It involved broadcasting 160 games in the Men Premier Leagues and 164 games per season for the Zenith Bank League (Women). But, it excludes games by the national basketball team.
With the deal, the NBBF offset the exclusive right of the local basketball games to Econet through the Kwese TV Programme Purchase Agreement.
Kwesé is a brand of Econet Media Limited, a media arm of Econet, one of Africa’s leading Telecoms, Media and Technology groups.