The management of Kano Pillars football club, led by Kabiru Baita, has been accused of embezzling funds realized from the trade of two players. A source within the football club said Mr. Baita and other cohorts did not account for $150,000, being income from the trade of one of the team’s players, Ahmed Musa, as well as 60,000 euros from the ongoing trade of another player whose name was withheld.
An official of the former premier football club told our correspondent that the chairman of the club, Mr. Baita, never consulted the sports commission, the body in charge of supervising sports activities in Kano State.
“Alhaji Kabiru Baita singlehandedly arranged the sale of the two players to foreign clubs and pocketed the amount,” said our source. He added: “I can assure you that Alhaji Baita did not remit the money obtained from the transaction into the state government account.”
The source added that Mr. Baita should not be allowed to get away with embezzling funds, adding that the state government pays N18 million every month as salary to more than thirty players of the club. Our source revealed that the state government also pays the sum of N1.7 billion as overhead costs for the running of the team, adding that Mr. Baita offers no accounting of the funds.
“The chairman has not remitted a single kobo into the government account as income, even though the government is making efforts to generate revenue internally,” said our source.
Our source said Mr. Baita was acting recklessly because his appointment was entirely political, adding that the football club’s chairman was tainting the good image of the state government under the leadership of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.
Another source at the Kano Pillars club blamed the team’s fall from one of the top spots in the national football ranking to a low place on Mr. Baita’s poor leadership. “Alhaji Baita has turned the club into an avenue for his personal wealth,” said the source.
The source claimed that a close ally of the governor had advised Governor Ganduje not to appoint Mr. Baita as chair of the Kano Pillars club, adding that the incumbent chairman had dropped out of secondary school and was not competent.
A member of the club’s board accused Mr. Baita of never consulting other members for any advice. “He even operates the account of the club without involvement of other concerned signatories,” said the source.
He urged the state government to freeze the account of the club and set up a committee to investigate the club.
Some of the players also told our correspondent that the state government should dissolve the management team and form a caretaker committee to investigate the systematic corruption going on in the team.
All efforts to contact Mr. Baita proved abortive.