Senate has summoned the minister of special duties, Senator George Akume, over the alleged failure of lottery operators to remit appropriate revenues to the coffers of the federal government.
The chairman, Senate Committee on Sports, Senator Obinna Ogba, disclosed this yesterday after his committee’s meeting with the lottery operators and the regulatory agency.
The Senate had in April resolved and mandated the panel to conduct an investigation into the alleged loss of hundreds of billions of naira as revenue annually.
Meanwhile, there was a mild drama at the committee’s sitting yesterday when the representatives of Western Lotto and Premier Lotto clashed at the investigative hearing.
Western Lotto, which said it has the franchise to run the Ghana Games in Nigeria, was owned by the late Senator Buruji Kashamu while the Premier Lotto, which is challenging former’s claim, is owned by Chief Adebutu Kessington, aka Baba Ijebu.
Trouble started when the Managing Director of Western Lotto Company, Mr. Olumide Adedeji, told the Senate panel and the regulatory agency that his firm had relevant documents from the Ghana Lottery Commission as its main representative in Nigeria.
Adedeji accused the NLRC of failing to implement the terms of agreement to set up the Ghana Games Lottery Commission in Nigeria in order for Western Lotto to be earning its due commission.
But the Managing Director of Premier Lotto, Mr. Ajibola Adebutu, asked the Senate to disregard the claim by Adedeji, saying granting such a request would make the Western Lotto an operator and regulator at the same time.
Attempts by Adedeji to explain that the NLRC would be the main regulator of the proposed Ghana Games Commission was resisted by Adebutu and the situation led to a stalemate, which forced the panel to meet behind-closed-doors.