Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, has denied claims by former World Cruiser-weight boxing champion, Bash Alli, that he was assaulted by security agents when he visited the minister’s office.
Special Assistant on Media to minister, Nneka Ikem Anibeze, described Bash Ali’s claim as ‘unsubstantiated and untrue’.
According to him, “Bash Ali barricaded the entrance to the office of the minister with the men who accompanied him as he questioned why the Hungarian Ambassador to Nigeria, Prof. Gabor Ternak, would be allowed to see the minister while he, who came earlier, was not given access.
“The uniformed security tried to persuade Alli and his men to leave the minister’s secretary’s office but to no avail. The boxer who was carrying a file and mobile phone carefully went to the secretary’s table to drop his valuables and then fell flat on his back across the doorway.
“Bash Ali was neither touched, shoved nor manhandled by security operatives of the minister. He feigned that he had been beaten up but we challenge him to produce physical evidence of assault, gun handle bumps, and bruises, swelling or otherwise as being presented to the public.
“He has a record of such antics following his despair to defend a world boxing title at over 60.
“In 2013, he alleged that he was beaten up by security operatives of the then Minister of Youth and Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi.
In 2015, the WBF cruiser weight boxing champion was detained in Kuje prison following an altercation with the MD of a bank over funds for his title fight.”
Bashi Alli, who holds cruiser-weight title of World Boxing Federation (WBF) will face Rick Camlin, the champion of International Boxing Union (IBU) at a yet-to-be-fixed date in Nigeria.
The Nigerian boxing legend had equally claimed to have been manhandled by policemen after attempting to see the former minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, in Abuja in 2013.