Blame game rages on over Burna Boy concert debacle
Agent Nwachukwu flees SA after being accused of stealing R10m
One of the men behind the failed Burna Boy concert in Joburg has fled SA, allegedly on the advice of his lawyers.
Speaking from OR Tambo International Airport on Thursday afternoon, Sedote Nwachukwu said he was leaving the country.
This after he was accused of stealing R10m from Ternary Media Group, a company that was promoting the megastar’s concert, which was scheduled to take place at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
Nwachukwu’s business partner Gregory Wings opened a case of fraud against him at the Sandton police station on Wednesday.
Gauteng provincial police spokesperson Brig Brenda Moridili confirmed that a case of fraud had been opened and was under investigation.
Thousands of tickets had been sold but it was not clear if concert goers would be refunded.
At 2.30pm on Thursday, Nwachukwu said he was leaving SA.
“I’m at the airport now and about to board my flight back to America. I’m leaving because I’ve been advised to do so by my lawyer,” he said.
A company search revealed that Ternary was registered on September 6.
On Tuesday, the organisers announced that the event was being postponed to December 16.
But FNB Stadium management said a contract had not been signed yet.
Ternary on Wednesday said Nwachukwu had been removed as the CEO after he stole money.
Nwachukwu refuted claims that he stole the millions, accusing Wings of making off with cash.
“The event in total sold almost over 20,000 tickets but Greg took 6,000 of the 11,000 tickets sold by Ticketpro. I am being told that he went around selling and distributing them at night clubs and campuses. I haven’t seen him since I’ve set foot here in SA over a week ago,” Nwachukwu said.
The tickets were selling from R500 to nearly R6,000.
“I initially brought Greg on board for this project because I wanted to give him a second chance at life after he served time in prison for fraud. Had I known he would’ve done this to me, I wouldn’t have agreed o do business with him.
“Greg was in charge of invoices and anything related to the paper work of the promotion for this concert. I didn’t know he had plans to do this. I am aware of a case being opened because of the fraudulent acts of my business partner Gregory Wings,” said Nwachukwu.
“He is not my investor nor has he ever done any prior successful shows with me. Unfortunately, as a Christian, I tried to help someone who had a jaded past and looked past it. Unfortunately, he has resorted to his criminal ways and the truth will come to light.
“I have been in the US for over 30 days, while he was the liaison between all these different companies on the ground. I trusted him to do the right thing. When I started questioning him about ticket sales and tickets that we picked up and where funds were being diverted he chose to try to blame me. Unfortunately, paperwork always beats allegations.”
A Ticketpro official, who only identified herself as Mandy, said discussions were ongoing.
According to Wings' statement to the police, which Sowetan has seen, just seven days before the concert was to take place, Wings met with an official from Ticketpro, only to realise that more than R8m had been transferred to Nwachukwu’s American bank account.
"...To my surprise, that R8,179,263.00 had been already sent to a bank account number in America. The account verification document was issued to me, and to my surprise, the whole money was transferred to my business partner's [Nwachukwu] account without my consent.”
Wings claimed Nwachukwu had transferred money on different days, with the first payment of R2,8m made on July 27 and then R1,7m on August 23. The last payment of R4,6m was made on September 8.
Wings said suppliers told him they had not been paid.
On August 26, Nwachukwu and Wings were at FNB stadium, where Kaizer Chiefs played AmaZulu. Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi was also present.
The company’s spokesperson, Kymoni Jackson said they were working on a plan to refund people who bought tickets, however, tickets were still valid for the next show.
“He [Nwachukwu] stole R10m; that's why we had to call it [concert] off. He lied to everyone that was part of the event and his investor Gregory Wings,” said Jackson.
“Burna Boy was very excited to come [to SA] but we had to deal with this internal issue of Mr Nwachuku [first]. Burna is excited about the new date and really wants to perform in SA.”
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