Imo State Governor Probes Financial Recklessness in Heartland Football Club
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By Our Correspondent And News Agency Report
Few hours after Bestchoicesports.com.ng reported the frustration of head coach of Heartland FC, Owerri, Fidelis Ilechukwu in the club, Imo state Governor, Hope Uzodinma have swung into action to probe the alleged financial maleficence in the club, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can report
IMO state governor, Hope Uzodinma, disclosed this in Owerri, after meeting with the leadership of the state chapters of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, led by Josiah Ugochukwu, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Austin Chilakpu and Trade Union Congress, TUC, at the Government House in Owerri.
Governor Uzodinma of Imo State is set to wield the big stick on Heartland Fotball Club of Owerri in a bid to probe and prosecute those that allegedly plundered the resources meant to reposition the club.
According to report, a source from the club who confided to newsmen on the matter but begged not to be named said barring any change of mind, which he admitted was unlikely, Governor Uzodinma has resolved to get external auditors to audit the financial activities of the club in the past couple of years.
Recall that Heartland has been in the news for the wrong reasons in the past few months after they were found guilty of terminating the contract of some of their former players unlawfully.
As a result, the Nigerian Professional Football League, NPFL, club was banned from signing new players for the next two registration periods and ordered to pay over N16 million to the players by the League Management Company (LMC) in February, a development the state government frowned at.
Also, there are rumours that the remaining players of the once CAF Champions League finalists are planning mass exit from the club due to their(club) inability to pay them and this is coming after it has been revealed that former Governor Emeka Ihedioha duly released funds for players’ recruitment and salaries.
According to our source, the governor considered the bad media coverage of the club a big degrading to the Naze Millionaires and Imo State and had decided to see the end of it by getting those involved in the alleged financial mess to account for it.
“The governor has decided to do something because what is going on in this club is so bad that it is giving Imo State and his government a bad name.”
“I am not sure there is a change of mind but it is only a change of mind that will stop the kind of probe I learnt the governor wants to carry out.”
“He is determined to get those who put this club in a mess answer to their crimes, particularly the last board and I heard is looking at external auditors,” he said.
However, Solomon Onu, the club’s head of media, failed to confirm or deny the probe, dismissing newsmen, saying, “I am in the middle of something now.”
Recall that on assumption of office on May 29, 2019, Ihedioha released the sum of N45 million to the club to recruit quality players and prepare for the season.
He also reportedly released another N13 million for the club to embark on a preseason camping at NEROS Stadium, Nanka in Anambra State. Heartland were said to have spent only three days at Nanka, with rumours as to how N13m could have been spent within so short a time.
On Monday, this paper reported how Heartland coach, Ilechukwu cried out as a result of frustration the coaching crew and players are passing through the club due to poor welfare system.