NFF reacts as FG drags Pinnick, four others to court for alleged corruption
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Wednesday, dismissed charges of alleged corruption filed against its officials, by the country’s Federal Government.
On Tuesday, the Special Presidential Investigative Panel (SPIP), filed a case against five NFF officials at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
NFF president Amaju Pinnick was indicted, alongside first vice- president Seyi Akinwunmi, second-vice president Shehu Dikko, general secretary Mohammed Sanusi and board member Ahmed Yusuf Fresh.
The five men face charges of failure to declare their assets and alleged diversion of funds worth $8.4million, paid by FIFA as Nigeria’s Brazil 2014 World Cup appearance fee.
But the NFF, through its spokesperson Ademola Olajire, described the charges as frivolous and totally baseless.
“The Nigeria Football Federation notes that it has been inundated with enquiries about charges allegedly filed against its leadership (Amaju Melvin Pinnick, Seyi Akinwunmi, Shehu Dikko, Ahmed Fresh and Mohammed Sanusi) by the Federal Government of Nigeria,” said Olajire in a statement on Wednesday.
“NFF denies that FG has filed any such charges. NFF states that the orchestrated media blitz about the existence of such charges is nothing but the desperate and malicious efforts of the Chief Okoi Obono-Obla led Special Presidential Investigative Panel to lend itself as an instrument of cheap blackmail in the fight for the political leadership of NFF.
Currently pending before the Federal High Court, Abuja is Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/17/2019 filed by NFF against SPIP and 3 others, including Chief Obono-Obla himself. NFF in the suit is challenging the competence of SPIP under the law to purport to investigate or prosecute NFF or its leadership.
“We wish to state categorically that the charges filed by SPIP are frivolous and totally baseless. They are aimed only at scandalising the NFF and its leadership and nothing more, in order to mislead thenunwary and uninformed.
This is evident from the great facility with which the news of the charges which were registered at the court’s registry today, May 7, 2019, has been widely disseminated by SPIP and its collaborators.”