Former Nigerian international and African Footballer of the Year Rashidi Yekini blew N60 million in two months, The Nation has learnt.
The footballer, who died on May 4, withdrew N1 million daily for about 60 days from his savings account in an old generation bank.
The account was domiciled in the Dugbe, Ibadan branch of the bank.
It was learnt that the USA ’94 World Cup hero withdrew the cash consistently and later started withdrawing the remnant in smaller sums, such as N10,000 and N5,000, until it hit the minimum balance of N2,000 stipulated by the bank.
The withdrawals occurred from the middle of 2009 and progressed till October.
The account had N62 million balance as at May, 2008. It was learnt that the footballer fixed the amount for three months and at maturity, he returned it to the savings account from where he withdrew consistently N300,000, N600,000, N500,000.
In March, 2009, he was said to have fixed the balance of N52 million for another three months. At maturity, however, the late Yekini started the N1 million per day withdrawals, until he emptied the accounts.
The late Rashidi, as he was fondly called by his admirers, was always seen at the bank because the account was a savings account. The account, it was learnt, became dormant early 2010.
One of the late Yekini's siblings, Mrs. Rafiat Adetunji, who spoke with The Nation in Ira, confirmed that there was no money in his account as at the time teh family took him for treatment.
She said family members got to know about Yekini's strange behaviours when some of his neighbours in Ibadan complained.
Rafiat stated that she went in company of her husband and some of the family members to authenticate the veracity of the information and seek for a way to assist the football star.
She said when their efforts to take Yekini to a hospital in Oyo State failed, they sought the assistance of the then Oyo State Police Commissioner, Adisa Bolanta.
According to her, Bolanta ordered that Yekini be brought to him.
Her words: "When Yekini was brought before the CP, the football star said he was alright and even gave some money to some of the police officers present. The CP was said to have been surprised and did not know what next to do or how to assist them since Yekini appeared to be alright.
"After that we got information that Yekini went to the bank and withdraw some large sums of money, gave out some to people and spread the rest onto the air.
"When we took him to the hospital, about four weeks ago not only was he mentally unstable, he was also sick.
"We did not have money to treat him. So, we went to the bank where he had an account but unfortunately the bank said he had no more money in his account. So, we took him to the hospital and we were treating him until he died."
The late Yekini’s last moments were shrouded in mystery and controversy. Some people claimed that he was insane a few years earlier; others said he deliberately withdrew from people due to the sad experience he had with a close associate, who duped him of some cash.
Many also claimed that his immediate family members came to pick him from his Oni & Sons home with the claim that he was being taken to a healing home.
But a close associate of the late footballer, who simply identified himself as Emmanuel, insisted that the late Yekini was sane. He explained that the footballer was duped by close business associates a few years ago, adding that the experience was so devastating to him that he decided to withdraw from people.
He said: “Some people betrayed him. That was why he stopped getting close to people. They duped him of very huge amount of money. That was what affected Rashidi. Rashidi was okay mentally. He drove himself and did everything well. Every month, he gave to widows and the needy. He was generous. He was not insane.”
The late Yekini died at Al-Amin, a private hospital at Awotan, a suburb of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on May 4.
He was taken to the hospital unconscious at 2:15 pm by some men, according to the Managing Director of the hospital, Dr Gbenga Ogunsina. He died 10 minutes later and was taken to his Ira, Kwara State home that night. His body was moved from the hospital by 11:00 pm and buried the following day.
Source: THE NATION