$1m bribe: Apologise in a week or face legal action, Sports Minister Enoh tells Bash Alli

"He will have just one week to do this; the failure to do this on his part will leave me with no option but to approach the courts to both clear my name and seek damages"


The Minister of Sports Development, Sen. John Enoh, has said that he never demanded $1 million to endorse Bash Alli’s plan to stage what he calls the oldest boxing fight in Nigeria.

Persecondnews recalls that in a viral video, the retired boxer allegedly claimed in an ‘Open letter to President Bola Tinubu that Sports Minister John Owan Enoh demanded “For Another US$1M” one million dollars from him in order to endorse his plan to stage what he calls the oldest boxers’ fight in Nigeria.

Reacting to Alli’s allegations, the minister said Alli has “redeployed this hydra-headed monster and gone overboard because past ministers perhaps treated him and his wild allegations with kid gloves.”

He noted that before he was appointed Minister of Sports Development, Bash Alli had sought “to mindlessly impugn the character and reputation of some of my predecessors in office, without any shred of evidence.”

Enoh said: “When Bash Alli released his video and open letter to the President with the sole aim to defame and destroy my reputation and integrity, some friends and associates advised that I totally ignore him and his blackmail gambit.

“They believe that by responding to Bash Alli and his vile campaign of calumny, I will validate and bring him to the limelight.

“After a deep reflection, I have come to the inevitable conclusion that to ignore him will be a profound mistake. My reason for this is twofold.

“First, the perception in the public domain is that those in the public service are either thieves or kleptomaniacs who mindlessly pillage our Commonwealth. This assumption, no matter how widely held, is not true.

“Despite our challenges as a nation, there are men and women who continue to serve our country with honesty, integrity, and patriotism. I AM ONE OF SUCH. Secondly, ignoring Bash Alli and his tradition of deploying blackmail and gutter tactics now will further embolden and enable him to continue in his usual trajectory even after I have served out my mandate as minister of sports, without consequences.”

The minister described the allegations of Alli as manufactured lies, pointing out that “his spurious allegation suffers from fatal deformity and is based on the erroneous impression that the government in Nigeria is a cash cow.”

Enoh added: “His allegation that I demanded “another 1 million dollars” as if I had received a first tranche of one million dollars from him,or perhaps any of my predecessors had done so, is a manufactured lie from the pit of hell.

“At no point in time did I demand any form of gratification from Bash Alli. The questions to ask are these: One million dollars from where?

“If Bash Alli had one million dollars, why has he not staged his fight? His spurious allegation suffers from fatal deformity and is based on the erroneous impression that the government in Nigeria is a cash cow at the mercy of public servants to pillage at will.

“Let me be clear. Bash Alli desperately wanted to meet me in my very early days as Minister of Sports Development, when I had hardly settled down on the job.

“In the deluge of his desperate attempts, I decided to meet him against the advice of the staff of the Ministry, who were familiar with his character and antics.

“Against their advice,I decided to meet him out of respect for his age and based on the open-door policy with which I am currently leading the ministry.

“Conscious of the advice of some key staff of the Ministry,I sought to insulate myself and the office from any blackmail that may emanate from this meeting by making sure that my team was present at the meeting.

“He presented the issue of his pet project, and I told him to be patient while I get more briefings from the ministry. All my life, the said meeting was the first and only time I ever met Bash Alli.

“There were no follow-ups after that one-off meeting, and I did not introduce any of my aides to him. After the said meeting, I politely refused to meet with him to this day in spite of his numerous requests and pressures. His incessant messages to me will speak to his desperation.

“Bash Alli’s plan to stage his boxing fight in Nigeria has a long history spanning almost two decades. To achieve this personal aspiration, he has deployed all manner of strategies, including naked blackmail and underhand tactics, in his desperate effort to arm-twist the Federal Government to spend upwards of $50m USD to stage his fight.

“Successive Ministers of Sports have rightly told him that his plan to stage this fight is not the responsibility of the government but a business that should be executed by the private sector.

“In concluding this statement, gentlemen of the press, I sincerely believe that, in spite of our numerous challenges, our country still has a soul.

“Our humanity will be irretrievably destroyed the day we lose our soul. Bash Alli’s desperate and unprovoked withering attack on me is an attack on decency, honesty, and integrity. The move to clear my name has just started, and there will be no let-up until I achieve this sacred mission.”

“In addition to other remedies under the ambit of the law, I have instructed my lawyer to write Bash Alli demanding an immediate public retraction of his allegations and to render a public apology.

“He will have just one week to do this; the failure to do this on his part will leave me with no option than to approach the courts to both clear my name and seek damages,” Enoh also stated.

Leave a comment

Related Articles

Power supply: Ogun set to acquire abandoned River Basin Development Authority’s hydro power plant

Ogun Gov. Dapo Abiodun has expressed interest in acquiring the abandoned hydro...

June 12: Ogun Gov. Abiodun pays homage to Abiola’s family, urges national perseverance

Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has urged Nigerians to remain committed...

Democracy Day: Give Nigerian workers living wage, group urges Tinubu

As Nigerians commemorate 25 years of unbroken democracy, a socio-political group, the...

Presidential aide shrugs off Tinubu’s slip at Eagles Square as minor mishap

President Bola Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Social Media, Mr. Dada Olusegun, has...

Pres. Tinubu lauds, acknowledges Nigerian media’s contributions to democracy

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has acknowledged the significant contributions of the media...

Democracy Day: Tinubu promises swift action on minimum wage legislation, hails heroes, heroines of June 12

…pays glowing tributes to MKO Abiola, Kudirat Abiola, Yar’Adua, Rewane, and other...

Democracy Day: Pres.Tinubu to address Nigerians on Wednesday

President Bola Tinubu will deliver a special Democracy Day address to the...

Disruptive conduct at Cathedral: NPFL fines Enyimba, Rangers N15m

The Nigeria Premier Football League Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned Rangers International of...

Nigeria’s 25 years of democracy: Ex. Pres. Jonathan calls for inclusive democracy, national unity

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has urged Nigerians to adopt democratic practices that...

Court didn’t declare Amaewhule, 26 defected assemblymen PDP members, Rivers AG clarifies

The Rivers State Government has clarified that the State High Court did...

Just in: FG declares June 12 public holiday to commemorate Democracy Day

The Federal Government has declared Wednesday, June 12, a national holiday to...

Updated: Malawi VP’s plane found with no survivors, presidency says

The wreck of a plane carrying Malawi’s Vice-President has been found with...

Military aircraft with Malawi Vice President and nine others onboard goes missing

A military plane carrying Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine other...

Tinubu dismisses Arase, appoints Argungu as new Police Service Commission Chairman

President Bola Tinubu has sacked a former Inspector General of Police, Solomon...

Sports Minister consoles Doma United FC over the crash

“I extend my prayers and best wishes for a quick and full...

WCQ: Sports Minister Summons NFF, Demands Technical Report Over Poor Results

The Minister of Sports Development, Sen. John Enoh, has demanded a detailed...

WCQ: Nigeria slump to Benin Republic 2-1, remain 5th in group

The Super Eagles of Nigeria lost 2-1 to the Benin Republic in...

NLC rules out Tuesday strike, awaits Tinubu’s intervention

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, says there...

Cross-border petrol smuggling: Nigeria loses billions of naira – Customs CG

The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Mr. Bashir Adewale Adeniyi,...

Just in: NPFL side Doma United’s bus in a ghastly road crash, no lives lost

The Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) side, Doma United, was involved in...