The Federal Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) of the Nigeria Police in Area 10, Garki, Abuja is grilling the Head, Marketing and Sponsorship of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr Chuks Alizor, over allegations of running a visa scam and obtaining money under false pretence from fans that intended travelling to the last FIFA Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and Australia.
THISDAY learnt on Monday that Police officials arrested Alizor on Friday and only released him on bail after a lawyer, Odezi Ighomoh Esq, petitioned the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Force Criminal Investigation Department, Nigeria Police Force, Abuja over the scam that happened between April and July this year.
In the petition dated September 4, 2023, sighted by THISDAY, two fans, Mr Duke Uche Eseka and Obiakor Chris Albert Okechukwu, reported of being scammed to part with huge sums of money to obtain visa and match tickets in order to travel to the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in Australia and New Zealand. But following inability of the NFF official to deliver on his promise and his refusal to return their money, the two aggrieved fans sought the help of the police to make Alizor to refund all that they spent during the processing.
The complaints also addressed copies of their petition to the Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Office of the Minister of Sports Development, the Chairman, Public Complaint Commission, and Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Law firm of Odezi Ighomor Esq, which acted as solicitor on behalf of the petitioners, who resided in Lagos, said in the petition that the NFF top shot asked the two of them to pay the sum N7,722,000 to facilitate the visa issuance.
They said that after making the payment into two accounts and being asked to undergo biometrics capturing and paying for hotel accommodation in Abuja, the accused refused and neglected to process the applications.
They said they made the payments into accounts belonging to Complete Design and Packaging Limited and Prudent Class Unique Resources Ltd.
The petitioners said that after several calls and messages to Alizor, the accused sent a purported rejection letter from the Australian Embassy.
They alleged that upon careful examination of the said refusal letter, it was discovered that there was no documents like bank statement, police character certificate, travel insurance, flight itinerary, hotel reservation, medical tests, match tickets and visa fee that they paid for to back up their said visa application.
They however also alleged that they were not the only victims of the scam by the senior NFF officer. Over 500 members of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club seeking visas to Australia and New Zealand were also scammed after parting with $120 each for match tickets and N320,000 each as visa application fee.
They claimed that that applications submitted by Alizor was a sham as many complained about their applications as they did not get their visa approved nor their applications properly processed.
According to THISDAY newspaper, no official of the NFF was ready to speak on the matter when approached yesterday. The telephone numbers of Director of Communication of the NFF, Ademola Olajire could not be reached as at press time.