Egbe Omo Yoruba North America, a socio-cultural association, has narrated how its refusal to pay a bribe of N150,000 stopped its officials from being featured on an already scheduled program on the network service of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
According to Mr. Adeola Ogunsanya, an official of the association, he was instructed on August 5, by the group’s President, Mr. Olu Omodele, to call one Mrs. Modupe Otuyalo of NTA, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The call was for the purpose of finalizing arrangements for an appearance of the group’s officials on a show she anchors.
The show runs during weekdays. Officials of the association planned to appear on Monday, August 8 to speak about youth empowerment on the show.
Mr. Odusanya said he put a call through to Mrs. Otuyalo on 08034728448 thrice with no response. On the fourth attempt, Mrs. Otuyalo answered, informing Mr. Odusanya she would call back as she was busy with production duties.
An hour later, she called back as promised, telling Mr. Odusanya to meet one Fola Martins. She also advised him to arrive at the NTA studios by 10:30 AM, as the show would start at 11 AM. Mrs. Otuyalo gave other details, which Mr. Odusanya was content with.
But a day before the scheduled date, Mrs. Otuyalo called Mr. Odusanya to ask what the Egbe Omo Yoruba North America was going to give as “settlement.”
Mr. Odusanya explained that the association is a non-profit organization that pushes social causes. Specifically, he told the program anchor that the planned appearance was aimed at suggesting ways of getting jobs and becoming financially independent to young Nigerians.
Mrs. Otuyalo, apparently unimpressed, told Mr. Odusanya that she would call back after discussing with her boss, whose name she gave as Mrs. Helen Odebiyi, an Assistant Director, who was said to be in church at the time.
Mrs. Otuyalo later called back and said that her boss was back from church and had demanded N150,000.
Mr. Odusanya kept pushing the position that his association is not-for-profit and that the appearance sought was a way of helping the federal government address the issue of youth unemployment.
Mrs. Otuyalo then relayed a message from her boss that the association did not need to pay the NTA, but should just pay the N150,000 to her and her boss. She insisted that an organization based in the US must have money and warning that failure to pay up would result in the cancellation of the scheduled appearance.
Further explanations detailing the status of the association yielded no change of heart and the appearance of Egbe Omo Yoruba North America on NTA was cancelled.