Betting and sports go hand in hand for a lot of Nigerians. With the return of football, Nigerians are more than excited to resume their regular gambling practices. Before the latest major Premier League game, founder of NairaBET and politician, Otunba Akin Alabi had assured Nigerians that they should stake their odds on Manchester City, asserting that the competing team, Arsenal, had no chance of winning.
Don’t even think about it. If you want to bet on the Arsenal Man City game, put your money on Man City to win. Don’t even consider any other option.
— Oloye Akin Alabi (@akinalabi) July 18, 2020
Ironically, Arsenal did win. The match ended in a 2-0 scoreline with Arsenal thrashing Manchester City. Many Nigerians lost a lot of money on the wagers on the match, and some allege they did so because they listened to Akin Alabi. Nigerians had a lot of opinions about the events that occurred, with a segment of people stating that Alabi had committed a crime by suggesting who people should bet on. They asserted that because he was the founder of a betting company, he could easily sway people to believe him and bet on what he says. Some suggested that it was only right he faced some form of repercussion and pay fines.
In saner clime, Akin Alabi would have been fined, then charged for match-fixing.
As Sports Betting owner, he had no right whatsoever, being a football pundit on a huge platform like Twitter
But it is Nigeria, anything can happen, no consequence, a lawmaker, breaking the law.
— NEFERTITI (@firstladyship) July 18, 2020
Aren't there rules about this kind of things, Akin Alabi a owner of a betting company telling people where to put their money. He didn't suggest, he said it definitively. Everyone who took his advice will lose their money to his company.
There should be rules about this.
— Olóyè. (@oloye__) July 18, 2020
However, some stood on the opposing fence declaring that there was no way Alabi could have fixed the match; asserting that it’s only in that instance would his actions be termed wrong. Twitter users declared that Alabi had been tweeting like every other person and it was ridiculous for people to want to sue him.
People that bet on Manchester City are going after Akin Alabi. Man doesn't have influence on the game and can say whatever, better direct your anger towards Pep
— #hashtag LFC (@hashtag2weet) July 19, 2020
Akin alabi tweeted like every normal person and you're saying they should sue him because City lost.
— Ripe banana (@slimsuki_) July 18, 2020
Furthermore, some concluded that the fault was on those who “gullibly” followed his advice, emphasizing that no one forced them to do so.
That’s why gambling is meant for adults alone. You make up your mind BY YOURSELF. Akin Alabi no put gun for anybody head. https://t.co/U3cmVe1UeO
— 45 Years Old With Affidavit (@BabajideFadoju) July 19, 2020
Omo this guy took his time to type a long ass okoto(premium one at that) just to vilify Akin Alabi.
Better go and count your losses and try another day, this thread is a display of sheer stupidity.
Even betting sites gives out tip, na ur choice to play or not https://t.co/8aeVxlkdNx
— Criticism (@IamTheDrikez) July 19, 2020
Are you suggesting the game was fixed or You think Akin Alabi has a magic wand in Ibadan that can influence the result of a game that was played in London?
There’s absolutely nothing wrong about him giving betting suggestions/advice, he didn’t force anyone to play. https://t.co/cjQvOW9MU5
— Man of Letters. (@Letter_to_Jack) July 19, 2020
Some also posited that it was understandable that Alabi made such a prediction, espousing that every avid football watcher knows that Arsenal has had an abysmal track record with winning important matches over the years; stating that no one thought they would emerge victorious.
Why are people like this, dragging akin alabi cos he made a prediction that mancity will beat arsenal… Is he the one that said mancity shouldnt win or what, most people even arsenal fans didn't believe they can win that game. You lost is your fault not his.
— Michael (@Freezewills1) July 19, 2020
No sane arsenal fan believes they could beat Manchester city yesterday, they were all surprised. Leave Akin Alabi alone cos none of you will bet on arsenal to win 😉
— Zeem (@Zeem_Miles) July 19, 2020
Did Akin Alabi misuse his position and influence to sway users of his betting platforms knowing either way he would make a profit? Are there any laws that forbid him from using his platform in this way?
Toluwanimi Onakoya is a spirited writer, creative and videographer. Her biggest drive is to connect with people and depict tales using various forms of media.
Toluwanimi is available on Instagram and Twitter @nimi_onaks