The management of Western Lotto Nigeria Limited has raised the alarm over plans by its opponents under the aegis of the Nigerian Licensed Lottery Operators’ Forum to use the judiciary to compel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Inspector-General of Police and the State Security Service (SSS) to disrupt its operations and arrest its directors.
In a statement issued Wednesday night by the company, this is coming on the heels of the ongoing investigations of Premier Lotto, Golden Chance Lotto, Bet9ja and other lottery and sports betting companies for economic sabotage and non-remittances of the revenue due to the Federal Government.
According to sources, as a result of the whistle-blowing role played by Western Lotto, Premier Lotto and Bet9ja have been asked to pay over N20 billion to the Federal Government as fines.
We further gathered that both firms have been paying N500 million monthly to the EFCC and this is supposed to continue until they liquidate the total fine imposed on them, having given an undertaking to this effect.
Industry sources claimed that the defaulting lottery operators are owing the Federal Government over N200 billion in revenue that should accrue to it.
However, in a twist seen in many quarters as a move to get back at Western Lotto, the other operators have come together under a group known as Nigerian Licensed Lottery Operators’ Forum and hired one Olugbenga Adeyemi, who described himself as a “human rights crusader and economic rights activist” to file a suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja through which he is asking for an order of mandamus to compel the EFCC, Police and SSS to investigate and prosecute Western Lotto and its promoters for alleged embezzlement of funds accruable to the Federal Government of Nigeria, tax evasion and economic sabotage.
He also wants the court to compel the various agencies to make public the outcome of such investigation.
The suit is marked FHC/ABJ/CS/669/2020 and the plan is to get a pliable judge who would give an exparte order against Western Lotto and its promoters.
The management of the lottery company has appealed to the Federal Government, especially the judiciary, the EFCC, Police, SSS and other relevant agencies, to be aware of the antics of its opponents who are aggrieved at its patriotic duty of exposing the corruption in the gaming industry and wants to get back at it and its promoters.