Shooting Stars have alleged that Reuben Izu, a brother of their former player Joseph Izu, wanted them to pay the deceased’s salary into his personal account instead of the father’s as requested by the family.
Izu was killed by soldiers while on holiday in his home town Okarki, Bayelsa State, in October 2016. Shooting were reportedly owing the defender eight months’ salary and allowances before his death.
The Izu family claim their late son’s entitlements amount to over N3m while the club claim it is N2.3m.
Reports on Wednesday said Reuben on Tuesday petitioned Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi over 3SC’s inability to pay his brother’s entitlements despite the family’s attempts to get the money from the Ibadan club, who were relegated from the Premier League to the National League last season.
But Shooting Stars in a statement late Tuesday signed by their spokesman, Jubril Arowolo, refuted Reuben’s claims, saying the club had been crediting the late player’s father’s bank account as instructed by the family.
The statement read, “While we acknowledge that the club was owing the late player, it is very pertinent to put the record straight that hardly would a month pass without the club paying into the account of Pa Joseph Izu, the father of the deceased, as requested by the family in the last six months.
“This act did not go down well with the said Reuben, who wanted the payments in his account instead, a situation currently causing frictions within the family. We have refused to take issue with Mr. Reuben Izu as a mark of respect for the late player but this reaction is necessary in order to put a stop to the mischievous manner in which the man is going about the issue.”
It added, “On our part, we are committed to offsetting the outstanding salary and this position was acknowledged by an official of the National Association of Nigerian Professional Footballers, Mr. Austin Popo, during his visit to our office last Friday.”
However, Reuben told our correspondent on Wednesday that the club had lied, adding that they only paid for two months.
He said, “It is really unfortunate that a well-respected club like Shooting Stars can resort to cheap blackmail because of the petition I wrote to the government and the Oyo State House of Assembly. The letter was meant to ensure that we get their assistance in getting justice for my late brother while imploring them to offset the debt so that we can cater for late Joseph’s daughter.
“I have never requested that the money be paid into my account and their claims of paying for six months is a lie. They only paid N300,000, which was done in two months. We have called them to give us a breakdown of late Joseph’s salary and allowances as well as his bonuses, but they haven’t done that.”
He added, “Their blackmail won’t stop me or the family.”
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.
Contact: [email protected]