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Management of Western Lotto Nigeria Limited has accused other lotto operators 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.
The lotto company said the lottery operators are planning to use the judiciary through a court order to compel EFCC to stop its operations over frivolous claims.
This, according to the lotto management was 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.
Western lotto in a press statement issued on Wednesday in Lagos said the move by the lottery forum was as a result of its whistle-blowing role played over non-remittance of over N20billion to the federal government account by Premier lotto and Bet9ja.
It explained further that, the two major lottery companies 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.
The lawyer 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.