It appears that the drama surrounding the preparation of the Women`s National Basketball team for the FIBA World Cup in Spain is not over yet. Last week, the Basketball Federation announced that the team captain Aisha Mohammed will be replaced by Adaora Elonu.
According to our sources, there is more to the event than revealed by the Federation. The former captain Aisha Mohammed was involved in an altercation with another teammate, Ijeoma Ajemba. The latter has filed a formal complaint with the law enforcement agency against the former captain in the United States.
According to sources, Ijeoma Ajemba notified local authorities after she was allegedly hit twice in the face in an altercation involving herself, the 2017 Afrobasket winning captain, Aisha Mohammed and some other D`Tigress players trying to intervene. This altercation we understand happened in the lobby of the hotel in which the team is currently based in Atlanta, USA.
A disciplinary hearing was held where Mohammed was fined $100 and stripped off of her role as the captain of the team, Ajemba, on the other hand, was fined $300 and expelled from the team. Ajemba considered the judgment biased and unfair as it was allegedly induced by Team Manager Mactabene Amachree. Mactabene is said to have a cordial relationship with the now former captain.
Another source close to the player revealed that Ajemba actually sought redress with the Team manager, Nigeria Basketball Federation board members in Atlanta and Federation President Musa Kida (via email) to appeal the judgment but yielded no response from the President or any of them.
Mactabene was said to have threatened Ajemba for appealing and was quoted saying;
`You are done with Nigeria Basketball Forever`.
`The Federation and I will be protecting Aisha on this matter`.
The words were said to have provoked Ajemba to take the option to seek external justice for the poor judgment and treatment from the Team Manager. She was not reimbursed for her flight, her per diem was not paid and she was kicked out of the hotel.
Players, who chose to remain anonymous, added that they have had to endure unprofessional treatment, poor welfare and high handedness from the Team Manager which caused them to go on strike for 3 days (July 30th - August 2nd).
`Players are made known to have insurance. However, they were not sent a copy to see the policies. The insurance has not even been paid for. Therefore, players are risking their bodies at this expense and having to pay for their own injuries.`
According to reports, one of the players tore her ACL and was told that they were insured; only to find out that the team is not and that she has to pay for her medical bills.
We are also aware that some players have decided to walk away from the national team camp, abandoning their World Cup dream of representing Nigeria in Spain this September rather than fight for a shirt due to the poor conditions of the National Camp.
Adaora Elonu has seen been announced as the new captain of the team.
The Basketball Federation has confirmed that there was indeed an altercation, there was an official hearing and the appropriate punishments were recommended and approved. We have also reached out to the Team Manager, Amarachi Mactabene and Vice President of the Basketball Federation, Babs Ogunade for comments.