Nigeria

Lawyer demands lottery commission’s report on unpaid N186 million winnings

Apparently disturbed by the activities of internet fraudsters disguising as its recruitment agencies, the management of National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) has warned the public to be wary of the antics of unscrupulous elements in society.

A lawyer, Victor Emerson, has requested the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) to issue its findings on a petition alleging the unpaid sports bet winnings of over N186 million.

According to Emerson, the commission is refusing to carry out its obligations as a regulatory compliance body set up to protect the interest of all lottery players and winners by ensuring they are paid what is due to them.

Emerson’s clients – Cephas Esemeka, Goodluck Solomon and Uloeze Odum – claimed to have won N1.86m after placing bets with BetBonanza.

In a letter on September 13 this year, the lawyer said a meeting brokered on May 27 this year by the Commission between his clients and BetBonanza failed to resolve the issue.

He bemoaned that despite informing the NLRC of the state of affairs in a letter on June 10 this year, the Commission failed to act.

Emerson also alleged that BetBonanza was not interested in settling the matter amicably, hence, urged the NLRC to step in and act on his clients’ previous petitions.

He emphasised: “For the records, our Petition has been pending before the Commission since February and it is regrettable to see that it has not been resolved after seven months by the Commission.

“Our clients have become restive and are very distressed by this state of affairs and have instructed us to request that the Commission brings our Petition to its logical conclusion by issuing its report and recommendations.”

He, therefore, “Humbly request that the Commission does the needful and issue its report on our Petition so we can move on in respect of our claim against BetBonanza.”

In the petitions, Emerson’s clients went to the betting agent in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to cash out their reward but were informed that BetBonanza withdrew the funds already credited to the agent for their payment.

BetBonanza further informed the petitioners that the payments were withdrawn because the games were allegedly fixed despite the fact that they placed bets on the same games with another company and redeemed their winning.

Through its lawyers, Babajimi Ayorinde and Oladimeji Sarumi, the betting sport in a March 8 response to the petitioners’ demand letter, said they were not entitled to the winnings.

They alleged that the winners breached BetBonanza terms and conditions amongst other infractions.

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