Abu Salam, the proprietor of a football academy, has levied substantial allegations of financial impropriety against Nigerian music sensation, Davido. This exposé centers on the purported misappropriation of funds in the context of the “Davido Dream Football Academy.”
The Ambitious Project
Abu Salam, driven by a vision to instill discipline and work ethics in young athletes, initiated the “Davido Dream Football Academy.” The endeavor sought to impact the lives of children by fostering an understanding of the effort and determination required for success in sports and other facets of life.
Amaju Pinnick’s Revelations
The foundation for these allegations was laid when Amaju Pinnick, a former President of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), publicly disclosed that Davido had been remunerated a substantial sum of $94,600 for a performance that never materialized. Furthermore, an expenditure of $18,000 was reportedly incurred to charter a plane for Davido’s transportation to the event, a journey that ultimately did not occur.
A Courageous Accuser Emerges
The revelations from Amaju Pinnick served as a catalyst for Abu Salam to step into the spotlight and voice his own grievances against the artist. Speaking exclusively to Ogunwatch, Abu contended that he had disbursed a cumulative sum of ₦176 million to Davido for their joint project, despite the artist’s refusal to cooperate. As a consequence of this non-participation, Abu claimed that he had incurred additional costs exceeding ₦40 million, resulting in a total expenditure of ₦218 million. Importantly, despite the extensive financial transactions, Abu had not received a signed contract from Davido.
However, documents obtained by Ogunwatch from Abu, copies of his bank statement, reveal a total of 135 million Naira was cumulatively paid to the account under the name of David Adeleke, BFA & Co Legal Consult, Bobo Ajudua’s law firm.
Davido Dream Football: Genesis of a Collaborative Vision
Abu’s ambitious vision took shape approximately a decade ago, founded on the belief that a grassroots football initiative could provide young African talents with a platform to showcase their skills to club managers worldwide. The association with Davido was initiated during the project’s second season.
Abu’s Account of Events
Abu Salam recounted his efforts to engage Davido’s participation through Sharon, the singer’s sister. Sharon, acting as the intermediary, stipulated the conditions of Davido’s involvement, which included a demand for ₦200 million and a 35% stake in Abu’s company. Abu found the equity requirement particularly onerous.
Abu stated, “I mean, the ₦200 million is even more feasible, but 35% of my company, that is a bit on the high side because I have investors that I already dealt with in Season one. So I shook it back and forth, but she was adamant, she wanted ₦200 million.”
He further explained, “Eventually, I approached the sponsors and decided to jump on board the project, and they came up with $500,000, but they only sent a part payment, which was ₦167 million. When they sent the money to me, I met a friend called Larry Gaga, who is also an industry personnel and promised to give him a tip if he could take me to David directly, and he did.”
“When I met with David, I explained everything that I wanted to do. I explained the revenue stream that’s been the feature of the project, I explained how long we could do the project for the influence it has on the society, the impact it has on the children, everything and he said it was a fantastic project.”
Absence of a Contract
Notably, Abu revealed that he had not received a signed contract from Davido. He said, “I didn’t go there with the contract, I only wanted to go and talk to him but because I saw he was interested, he accepted me properly. The kind of brand he is, the type of person he is on social media. I went to the bank with his staff, Lathy, and I paid ₦100 million on the first day, 40 minutes after I met David, into his account directly.”
Abu recounted a series of disappointments involving Davido’s failure to appear at promotional events. He explained, “I reached out to him about two weeks later and said, David, I would like to shoot the first commercial for the show so we can get the shot. Meanwhile, I have not received the contract back yet, but I just thought they were probably still looking into the contract to make it a title, whatever it is. I signed my part of the contract but David hasn’t signed his.”
“I spent ₦8 million on shooting the first commercial, and David didn’t turn up. He left me hanging. When I called him in the evening to find out what happened, he said he was traveling, and that’s why he couldn’t make it. I took my loss.”
“Eventually, I set up the next commercial shoot again; this time around, I spent ₦9 million, but David didn’t turn up again. I went to Larry and complained to him, and he said I should not be angry, that David was really busy this period because he had a lot of shows. I took the second loss again, that was last year.”
“Eventually, I set up a third shoot at Onikan Stadium and we rented a generator, lights, equipment, and everything to make it big shoots hoping that I would be able to achieve more things on that day since we started very early, David did not turn up.”
Influencers and Sabotage
In a disturbing revelation, Abu detailed his efforts to promote the project through influencers. He stated, “So I paid so many influencers, Tacha, Tonto Dikeh, Portable, Mr. Jollof, Comedians, all kind of people, Big Brother influencers. I spent about ₦21 million on influencers to promote the show because David did not participate.”
Abu further alleged, “David did not make a single post about it, not even on his story. Eventually, I paid Tunde Ednut. That’s where it gets tricky. I paid Tunde Ednut, and I have that chat as well. I paid ₦350,000 to influence the show. You would not believe it; David called Tunde Ednut and told Tunde Ednut to take the post down, sabotaging the show.”
A Resounding Silence
As these serious allegations came to light, our attempts to contact Davido and his legal representative, Bobo Ajudua, yielded no response. These allegations, as they stand, cast a shadow of uncertainty over this high-profile controversy.