BY ADEDIWURA OKELEYE
A few days ago, the organising team of the Miss Nollywood pageant announced the dethronementof the Miss Nollywood Culture and Tourism, Grace Okoro and cited bad behaviour and contract breach as reasons for the action. However Grace has just put out a statement explaining her side of the story and demanding an apology for defamation of character.
Read her statement below:
MR. BARAKUMO ODEDE, THE NOLLYWOOD FRAUDSTER EXPOSED BY BEAUTY QUEEN!
I called the contact phone number which was on the advert page for the Miss Nollywood 2015 / 2016 after filling the online form and making the bank registration payment. Mr Barakumo Odede who picked the call asked me to order for tickets which I will sell like other contestants which is a criteria to be a potential winner of the pageant. I then sold tickets worth #40,000 which I gave to Mr Barakumo.
One night during camping, Mr Barakumo told us all that he will interview us but it will be privately done in his room. We went in one after the other. I went in when it was my turn and MR Barakumo was behaving very funny that made me very uncomfortable in that room. Amongst other things, he asked me if I had a boyfriend, and I said yes, and he said that Queens don’t have boyfriends but rich men pays for it. I left the room angrily and upset, I later found out that he asked other contestants for sex too during the one-on-one interview sessions.
On one faithful night again, Mr Bara sent me a text to meet him at the corridor, which I did. But he was not there, then I called him and he asked me to open the next room’s door, when I did, I saw him sitting on a chair with a worried look, “Boss, are you OK? I asked him and he replied “Yes, but I am tired and I need lovemaking from you”. I reminded him of my boyfriend. This word got him angry and he then told me that other contestants were begging for it while he is giving it to me for free and I’m rejecting his offer. He pulled off his clothes and tried to get me down then I slapped him, struggled to get away from him and ran to my room immediately. He later sent me a text that he was sorry that he don’t know what came over him and pleaded that I shouldn’t tell anyone about it.
On the grand finale, 27th December, 2015 after we have been declared winners, we were surprised to learn that crowns were borrowed from Miss Bayelsa pageant to crown us and immediately after our group photographs, the crowns were returned back to the organizers of the Miss Bayelsa pageant whose pageant was being held same day at a different venue. All the regional Queens were not crowned as a result of this. We were given just flowers and sashes.
There was no rules, there was no contract agreement for us to sign, no constitution was read to us, no certificate was given neither did we see the 1million naira star prize for the winners as promised by Bara as he is popularly called. The next day he told us to dress very good and come downstairs to the pool side, when we got there, he introduced us to a man who we latter found out was a politician. That was when it dawned on us that Bara is upto something different, we latter went back to our rooms talking about what just happened.
The next morning, Mr Bara asked for N5, 000.00, I told him that I don’t have any cash on me so he begged and took my ATM card to withdraw the money. I was so shocked to receive an alert an N45, 000.00 debits out of the N50,000.00 that was in the account. He withdrew all my money, the cash that I saved for my school fees and left just N5, 000.00. When I confronted him, he pleaded that the organization will pay me back the money later and that the hotel management had asked us to leave because he couldn’t pay the complete deposit for our accommodation and that I shouldn’t sell the company’s secret out.
I was confused and wandered what a beauty pageant I got myself into where the organizer begs from his contestants for almost everything. The last of it was when he requested for one of my phones that owner of the one he was using just took it and there’s no way he can communicate anymore. I gave Bara my Techno T470 phone before we all left Bayelsa at the end.
After our crowning, Mr Barakumo told me to work very hard that by the first 3 months into our reign, the agency will give me all my benefits. With this, I worked diligently.
I am so proud to say that I did very well with the help of my parents no money was given to me by him. Instead I gave Mr Barakumo N15, 000.00 to design two awards plaques which I’ll be presenting to the King of my Community and the leader of our traditional ruling council when I paid them courtesy visit respectively.
I have always carried him along in all I do yet he keeps pestering me for money and recharge cards. I called when I wanted to unveil my pet project(the Hope Support Initiative Foundation) and he said he was very proud and happy for me. He even suggested to do all my designs and printing in Bayelsa State, saying that it is cheaper there. I sent him the money he requested for the printing and also specially invited him to the launching of my foundation, with all his expenses on me.( Transport, accommodation, feeding and miscellaneous). He pledged to donate N700, 000.00 (it is on the video tape)Bara asked me to date him I refused.
The day I asked him of my certificate as (Miss Nollywood Culture and Tourism) Mr Barakumo got so furious and threatened to dethrone me if I ever ask for the certificate again. That was when I knew he was up to something sinister.
Mr Robynz who was aware of the “Bara Saga” approached Mr. Bara and advised to settle all these issues that is responsible for the biff he is having with his queens, from the certificate to the N1million winning prize, Mr Bara took it as an unfriendly gesture, he called him a betrayal for taking sides with ‘his Queens’. Mr Robynz told him that its so sad to see him defraud us. Mr Barakumo told him that it was the duty of our boyfriends or sugar daddies to buy the cars for us then he will claim that he gave us the cars after branding them, saying that this is how it is done. I now understood why he told us in camp never to have boyfriends but rather should date men whom he believes can get us the cars. So, we should go out and sell our bodies for money and that the organization has nothing to give us and that he has given us a platform for us to sell our selves.
The attitude of Mr. Bara trying to frustrate our efforts and all that we have worked for gave Robynz an opportunity to manage my foundation.
The last straw that broke the camel’s back was when I was invited for a children’s day party by the wife of KOLGA chiarman and I sent Bara a text to inform him because I don’t want to have issues with him but he didn’t reply. Then surprisingly, on the 25th night he sent me a text message asking me to suspend my trip to Bayelsa and to cancel the children’s day celebration appointment, he said that I’m making the money and sharing it with Mr Robynz and that he will make sure he disgrace and dethrone me if I dare him and that I want to do what the immediate past Miss Nollywood Nigeria 2014(Queen Gwen)did and that he won’t let it happen again.
I went to Bayelsa on Thursday 26th May, 2016 with my mum, I went for a courtesy visit to the General Manager of Niger Delta Television. Immediately Mr Barakumo saw the interview on the news he became furious and told me that I want to become popular and famous like the immediate past Miss Nollywood Nigeria and that I am rude consequently, he will dethrone me.
Mr. Bara was more furious after he saw my post on facebook about the success story of the Children’s day celebration at KOLGA, Bayelsa State. That’s how he concluded to fabricate all the lies he published and that he has dethroned me. He immediately sent me all the links and blog addresses that he has published it.
THIS IS MY SIDE OF THE STORY
I HAVE SOME POSERS FOR MR BARAKUMO ODEDE.
* Since the primary objective of pageantry all over the world is charity, why then is he against my charity works and rather encouraging me to go into prostitution? We can verify by his resolve to delete all the charity works of the past Beauty Queens from the Facebook official page and website respectively, leaving a few and normal photos and newspaper publications.
* Why is he always demanding for the proceeds from his Queen’s courtesy visits?
* He should come out to publish the contract documents, memorandum of understanding (MOU) with my signature stating the said rules and regulations he claimed I infringed.
* If truly he gave the winners their prizes, he should publish the prizes with photos of all ‘his Queens’ both past and present.
* Why did he choose to sell forms for 2017 edition barely 4 months after crowning ‘his Queens’ for the 2016 edition?
* Unlike the first edition of the pageant, that produced the pioneer Queen (Queen Gwen) he should come out to show evidences of auditions for 2016 contestants which I am part of.
HE SHOULD COME OUT TO REFUTE ALL I HAVE SAID ABOVE WITH EVIDENCES.
If he thinks he wants to disgrace me and drag my name to the mud, he has inadvertently succeeded in disgracing and dragging himself to the mud where he belongs, this can be seen vividly by his grammatical “bombing”, which clearly reflect his personality and level of reasoning.
Mr. Barakumo Odede and the Miss Nollywood Foundation(MNF)will give an answer in the law court for deformation of character, and be prepared to come out to defend their ‘claims’ with evidences of all the contractual documents that I signed or retract your malicious publication about me within 24 hours with an unreserved apology which shall be published in five (5) national newspapers alongside all the blogs that published your malicious story.
Pictures of some of their conversations below