January 27, 2020

Court fixes date to hear suit against Nigerian football star, Okereke


By Henry Ojelu

Justice Femi Adamson of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja has fixed February 3, 2020 for hearing of the suit filed by football agent Henry Ajamah against  Nigeria’s international football player and Club Brugge FC, Belgium star, David Okereke.

Ajamah had late last year dragged the young Nigerian international before the court over an alleged breach of contract.

Ajamah who claims to have picked up the football player from the streets and nurtured him until he became a star, is demanding for his commission from the 8million euro contract fee Okereke was recently paid by Clug Brugge FC.

Joined in the suit as co-defendants are FIFA agent and CEO of Pro One Sports Management Ltd, Ebenezer Itorho, Okereke’s legal guardian Napoleon and father Oke Okereke.

Okereke has not filed a defence to the suit but in a recent online publication, he was quoted to have denied signing any contract with Ajamah.

In his statement of claims, Ajamah averred that sometime in 2013, he came across Okereke who was then an amateur footballer in Lagos and offered to manage and promote his career.

After consultation with Okereke’s guardain and subsequently his father, Ajamah claimed that he took the responsibility of paying him a monthly allowance, buying sporting materials and bearing his training expenses before and during the 2014 Under-17 Camp where he was eventually dropped from the squad by then Coach Emmanuel Amuneke.

In 2014, the claimant averred that Football College Abuja, took the young star for  a football exhibition games in Italy and Croatia, where he was spotted by some football scouts and eventually secured a deal with an Italian Football Club, Spezie FC in Serie B Division.

After awhile the claimant averred that Okereke appealed for his assistance for a better deal out of Spezia FC and he (Ajamah) subsequently secured the services of Itorho who resides in Italy to he get the youngster a new club under a 50-50 commission sharing agreement.

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According to the plaintiff, after Okereke initially reject an Italian national, Mr Patrick Bastianelli who was contacted for represent him as his agent, he (Ajamah) discovered that both Bastianelli and Okereke had connive to deprive him of his commission from his Club Brugge FC sign on fee.

The claimant is amongst other things, asking the court for an order directing the 1st and 2nd Defendant to disclose all material documents with respect to the contractual agreement between the 1st defendant and  Mr. Patrick Bastianelli, and to make all documents relating to the transfer deal available to him.

He is also seeking for an order compelling the 1st and 2nd defendants to pay the transfer commission to him in line with the 50/50 sharing formula as agreed to, or an order directing the 3rd & 4th defendants to pay same to the claimant as guaranteed by them.

Part of demand also includes an order directing the 1st and 2nd defendants to pay 21% Interest on the sum per annum with effect from the date the said transfer commission was paid to the 2nd defendant and Patrick Basterleni, and until judgment is delivered.

In addition, Ajamah has also filed a separate motion seeking an order  of Mareva Injunction restraining the defendants jointly and severally,  from transferring  all monies standing to the credit of the 1st – 4th defendants in 18 banks in the country  pending the hearing and determination of the suit.