Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Nigerian president orders football boss prosecution, CAF seat threatened

Nigerian president orders football boss prosecution, CAF seat threatened

NIGERIA

By Prince Ebuka

There are palpable fears in the Nigeria’s football family following President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive for the prosecution of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), President, Amaju Pinnick, over a litany of corruption allegations leveled against him.

The allegations which also involved funds embezzlement are in billions of naira.

Pinnick would eventually lose his CAF Vice President’s position if he is pronounced guilty in the course of his prosecution.

The order to prosecute Pinnick followed a preliminary investigation report presented to President Buhari by the Presidential investigative panel headed by Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, which had now placed Pinnick on travel ban.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission also addressed a report on the NFF to Mr President detailing the outcome of their investigations which tallied with what Obono-Obla’s panel had submitted to the President.

EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu had in his six-page report informed Buhari that the anti-graft agency had investigated and prosecuted top officials of the NFF in charge of finance in connection with an alleged financial scam in the football house.

They include: Director, Finance and Administration, Christopher Andekin; Head, Finance and Administration, NFF, Jafaru Mamzah and a cashier with the Finance and Administration department of the NFF, Rajan Zaka.

Their prosecution had to do with financial payments from Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) and Confederation of African Football (CAF), to NFF between 2014 and 2016.

President Buhari who was said to have been visibly angry over the alleged monumental scam immediately ordered Pinnick to also be prosecuted.

The president, who was reportedly shocked by the mind-boggling report and additional revelations, directed Magu to embark on a wider investigation into the remittances to the NFF between 2017 and 2018.

According to the EFCC preliminary report, it was discovered that the domiciliary accounts of the NFF domiciled with Zenith Bank and UBA had received total inflow of $16,417,761 from FIFA and CAF between January, 2014 and June, 2016.

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