The Federal Government has foreclosed any involvement in the novelty boxing match (Guinness World Boxing Project), being promoted by former World Cruiserweight Champion, Bash Ali. The proposed bout falls under the purview of the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBBofC), being a professional category that is purely a business concern.
The government distanced itself from the fight in a series of documents and correspondence with Bash Ali, who has now been informed through his lawyer, B.O. Nafagha & Co., to refrain from acts that interfere with the activities of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development. The former World Cruiserweight Champion has been pressuring officials to endorse the fight.
Ali has now lost the ability to coerce the Ministry into supporting the novelty bout. The ministry is acting on instruction from the Presidency, which had directed that it should not interfere in a matter over which another organization has jurisdiction.
The situation was made worse recently when the boxer showed up at the Ministry with a bag that he claimed contained two million naira, which he said was the balance left from a N15 million out of court settlement after paying his lawyers. Ali was advised to use the Remita platform if he was interested in making refunds to the government in line with the Treasury Single Account practice.
A letter written to Ali’s lawyer read, “the Ministry under the directive of Mr. President in a letter, dated 10th March, 2020 made it clear that it is not the proper platform for your client to realize his pet project.”
It further said: “And as a final note I am directed to advise your client to restrain from engaging in any act capable of creating a difficult atmosphere for the Ministry and its staff to carry out their functions.”