Ex Nigeria International and West Ham’s new striker Emmanuel Emenike has opened up on his past ordeals, including time spent in prison while accused of match-fixing and being on a team bus that was shot at.
The 28-year-old joined West Ham on loan from Fenerbahce last month and has since made two substitute appearances in the Premier League.
Prior to his arrival in east London, Emenike has had to endure several troubles, including being thrown in jail after being accused of match fixing in Turkey in 2011.
Accused of missing a game for Karabukspor against Fenerbahce with a fake injury in order to secure a £9million move to the club, Emenike was arrested and detained for four days, but was not fully cleared until 2013 when a Turkish court threw out the case due to a lack of evidence.
‘My time in prison was a crazy nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from,’ Emenike told the Sun.
‘I’ve never committed a crime in my life, but I was treated like a criminal, living on bread and water.’
Emenike claims the spell behind bars gave him ‘a different perspective on life’, and he simply ‘thanked God for letting justice prevail’.
After a spell at Dynamo Moscow – where he was subjected to racist abuse and reacted with an offensive gesture, for which he was fined and banned – he returned to Fenerbahce, but again became embroiled in trouble.
In April last year he was on the team bus that was shot at while driving to Trabzon airport. The driver suffered a head injury but the 40 players – including former Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt – and club officials escaped unharmed.
‘I was on the phone to my brother when I heard a loud bang,’ said Emenike of the harrowing incident. ‘The bus suddenly swerved and there was panic.
‘I instinctively took cover and our security officer told us the driver had been shot. Seeing him covered in blood was scary.’
Emenike is a Turkish league title winner in 2014 and has amassed 37 caps for the Super Eagles winning the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013.