Abia State Broadcasting Service (ABS) director, Mr Uche Nworah has reacted to Miss Chidinma Okeke’s allegations that she was pressured into making the now infamous record by organisers of the pageant. Miss Okeke had, in an interview with Nation alleged that the organisers were behind the blackmail video.
In his statement, he says Miss Okeke is lying, everything that happened during her reign were all contractually stipulated, and she may have fallen victim to con men who tricked her into believing that she would win if she made a record. He also added she is a pawn in a ‘larger politically motivated conspiracy.’
There is an Igbo saying that the more you repeat a lie, at some point people may begin to believe that it is the truth.
On this former Miss Anambra sex scandal, the management of the Anambra Broadcasting Service had previously released a press statement disassociating the organisation from it. We still stand on that statement.
We have also made statements on the matter to the law enforcement authorities. We understand that Miss Chidinma Okeke has also made statements to the law enforcement authorities so we eagerly await their findings.
It is however important that I correct certain statements that are being made on this forum and in other fora especially concerning the interview Miss Chidinma Okeke granted the Nation newspaper today. There appears to be an agenda to push falsehood to the public and in so doing malign me and the Anambra Broadcasting Service over a matter that we know nothing about. It appears that our silence over the matter, except the press statement we issued earlier is now being exploited by those who are bent on using the Miss Anambra sex scandal to settle political scores in Anambra state.
It would also appear that Miss Chidinma Okeke has become a pawn in a larger politically motivated conspiracy.
The ABS as a socially responsible organisation fulfilled to the letter every part of the contract signed with Miss Chidinma Okeke, former Miss Anambra. This includes paying ALL her prize money of the sum of one million Naira only. This was paid in instalments in line with the contract. An initial sum of N500,000 was paid to her after she signed her contract and the balance of N500,000 was paid in N50,000 instalments over a 10 month period.
She collected her last instalment of N50,000 on the 11th of October 2016, the day she handed over the crown to the organisers. We have records of her signing for all the payments. We had to take the measure of inviting the former Miss Anambra to the office on this date as that was the day an anonymous individual had forwarded the videos to myself and some other persons I do not know accusing the former queen of being a lesbian. The person said he was in possession of such similar videos numbering over 10 allegedly showing the former queen in lesbian acts, as well as her friends in the lesbian video performing sexual acts with men. Details of these WhatsApp messages have been made available to the law enforcement authorities. We took this decision as we did not want the brand to be smeared with such a scandal as contained in Clause 1 of the contract.
After the handover of the crown by Miss Chidinma Okeke to the Miss Anambra project executives in the presence of the ABS management in the office of the ABS MD/CEO, I dismissed all the other members of the management with the exception of the ABS lawyer and one of the Miss Anambra project executives. I went on to show Miss Chidinma Okeke the videos I had received that day from the anonymous individual and the messages from the person, I then asked her if she had any knowledge of the video and she said yes. I advised her to go home and confide in her family. I have not seen nor spoken to her since that day as I do not know her whereabouts.
Miss Chidinma Okeke was not forced to sign the contract under duress as alleged, rather a certain Nwakonobi Ifeanyi who is married to her sister and acting as her guardian co-signed with her after they had taken the contract home, studied and consulted over it.
As a respectable pageant, we have certain rules and regulations guiding participation in the pageant and conduct of the queen during her reign.
The Miss Anambra Beauty Pageant platform is indeed a wonderful one. There is nothing wrong with the pageant. We have had winners and participants on the platform who have gone on to do big things in their lives and modelling careers. The pageant is solely private sector funded. The state government does not sponsor the pageant so please do not believe the false story that the Anambra state government spends millions of Naira sponsoring the pageant.
If you live in Awka or Anambra state, you will confirm that it is usually a big event which generates a lot of excitement and buzz. As an organisation, the pageant generates entertainment content and some revenue for the ABS.
From the audition to the final event itself, the contestants are treated with the highest respect, courtesy and dignity. They sign a document detailing dos and donts and pledge to be of good conduct and behaviour both during camp and during the reign of the eventual winner. In the past, the organisers have had to dismiss some finalists from camp for misconduct, one for giving her number out to a hotel guest where they are camped and another for being rude to fellow contestants and the chaperon.
The pageant is judged to the highest standard. The judges are usually former acclaimed national beauty queens and showbiz personalities. The pageant overall is managed by a Pageant Creative Director who is a former Miss Nigeria. We take every care to ensure that we deliver a good show every year.
There are no preconditions of appearing in a record to contest in the Miss Anambra pageant. We have had hundreds of contestants on the pageant and they can testify to that. It makes no sense to try to blame the organisers over an act that is as a result of one’s folly and greed. If perhaps the said Miss Chidinma Okeke fell victim to conmen who tricked her into believing that she will win a beauty pageant if she appears in a record, if she goes ahead and participates in the said video and the conmen turn around to blackmail her and extort money from her with the record, how can I or the ABS be blamed for that? Did the other participants and contestants on the show suffer the same fate?
Regarding the issue of the Miss Anambra vehicle, in line with clause 10 of the contract, the vehicle is an official car which the organisers reserve the right to withdraw at the end of the queen’s reign. It does appear that the issue of the car is what concerns the former queen the most as statements to the media by her father, and even text messages to me and discussions from people from her camp suggest so but clearly as can be seen from the contract, the ABS acted as per contract signed.
It is obvious that those who have been at the forefront pushing this falsehood and allegation that I, Uche Nworah or the ABS has anything to do with this have ulterior motives.
In this day and age of social media, it is now easy for anybody to manufacture falsehood and post on social media for the unsuspecting public to read, like and share but in the end truth triumphs.