Following spurious claims that Segun Adebutu, son of lottery icon, Kesington Adebutu, popularly known as Baba Ijebu, is currently in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the oil and gas mogul was sighted in celebration mood on Tuesday night, at an Ikoyi Lounge.
While rumours on his alleged detention were circulating, Segun Adebutu was already seen in public. Adebutu, who is also the Chairman of Petrolex Oil and Gas, was seen on Tuesday night until early hours of Wednesday morning with suspected business partners and some members of his staff at the popular Lounge “The W” in Falomo, Ikoyi, according to a report in ThisisLagos, which is supported by photo evidence.
This has further buttressed the belief that what is happening is the product of a smear campaign designed to tarnish the image of Segun Adebutu and his father.
A reliable source who spoke to one of our correspondents confirmed that the petition and subsequent rumours are a result of envy.
“Some competitors in the lottery business have envied Premier Lotto’s track record of successes without appreciating the amount of work that had gone into the company over the decades,” he said.
Mr Kashamu, who is wanted for an unrelated drug offense in the U.S. for which he has denied culpability, had petitioned the EFCC about corruption in the betting industry, but deemphasised allegations of being a disgruntled player in the business, saying he had taken the matter to court and was now only concerned about the interest of Nigerians.
“It is highly irresponsible for a man who is alleged to have committed such grievous crimes to embark on the sponsorship of a campaign of calumny against an octogenarian who has created indelible footprints on the lottery industry, and his family,” a source.
A lottery commission official who spoke to newsmen on the matter also accused Mr Kashamu of instigating the petition against Premier Lotto because he wanted to dominate a section of the betting business in Nigeria.
“What we learnt is that Buruji Kashamu said he has sole rights to ‘Ghana Games’ in Nigeria,” an official said under anonymity because the lottery commission was still considering a unified response to the EFCC investigation. “But he should not burn down the entire industry to implement his business interests.”
The official said an association of betting companies would soon meet to form a coordinated response to the EFCC investigation that was triggered by Mr Kashamu’s alleged “anti-industry practices.”
Segun Adebutu is only one of at least four children who are management officials at Premier Lotto.