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Buhari orders prosecution of Pinnick over NFF multi-billion Naira fraud; Banned from travelling

NFF Chairman, Amaju Pinnick

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the prosecution of the President of the Nigerian Football Federation, NFF, Amaju Pinnick, over an alleged multi-billion Naira scam in the organisation, Punch Newspaper, reports.

It was also learnt that the Federal Government through the Presidential investigative panel headed by Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, has placed Pinnick on travel ban.

According to Punch, Buhari gave the order for Pinnick’s prosecution when the Obono-Obla panel presented a preliminary investigation report to him.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, 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 the 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 over an alleged financial scam in the football governing house in connection with financial payments from Federation of International Football Associations, FIFA,  and Confederation of African Football, CAF, to NFF between 2014 and 2016.

Buhari, who was said to have been visibly angry over the alleged monumental scam ordered Pinnick to also be prosecuted. He directed Magu to embark on a wider investigation into the remittances to the NFF between 2017 and 2018.

According to the EFCC preliminary report, the anti-graft agency stated that it commenced full investigation into the finances of the NFF where it discovered that the domiciliary accounts of the football body domiciled with Zenith Bank and UBA had received total inflow of $16,417,761 from FIFA and CAF between January, 2014 and June, 2016 as follows:

1. 18/12/2014 Zenith Bank, Ac No: 5070407456, $8,400,000 (FIFA); 23/01/2015, Zenith Bank, Ac No: 5070407456, $450,000 (FIFA); 25/03/2015, Zenith Bank, Ac No: 5070407456, $1,081,000 (CAF); 13/10/2015 Zenith Bank, Ac No: 5070407456, $3000 (CAF); 12/01/2014, UBA, Ac No: 3000004944, $1,500,000 (FIFA); 15/01/2014 UBA, Ac No: 3000004944, $1,746,745 (CAF); 19/03/2014 UBA, Ac No: 3000004944, $249,950 (CAF); 12/12/2014 UBA, Ac No: 3000004944, $301,467 (FIFA);14/05/2015 UBA, Ac No: 3000004944, $30,000 (FIFA); 31/07/2015 UBA, Ac No: 3000004944, $315,149 (FIFA); 14/08/2015, UBA, Ac No: 3000004944, $399,000 (FIFA); 11/09/2015 UBA, Ac No: 3000004944, $300,000 (FIFA); 16/10/2015, UBA, Ac No: 3000004944, $850,149 (FIFA); 18/11/2015, UBA, Ac No: 3000004944, $2,990 (CAF); 12/02/2016, UBA, Ac No: 3000004944, $79,540 (FIFA); 15/03/2016, UBA, Ac No: 3000004944, $299,000, (CAF); 22/06/2016 UBA, Ac No: 3000004944, $9,930 (CAF).

Magu in the report also informed Buhari that investigation into the case had been concluded. He added that Christopher Andekin; Head, Finance and Administration, NFF, Jafaru Mamzah and a cashier with the Finance and Administration department of NFF, Rajan Zaka were indicted and arraigned on October 15, 2018 before Justice P.O. Affem of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, No 19 Maitama Abuja on five criminal charges of conspiracy and criminal breach of trust by a public officer.

The EFCC’s boss further informed Buhari that the commission also received another petition dated April 24, 2016 captioned ‘Monumental stealing and financial crisis in the Nigeria Football Federation’, from James Peters of Amal Pepple Estate, Abuja.

He stated that in the course of investigation, the Minister of Sports forwarded to the commission, documents in support of the petition revealing sponsorship deals amounting to N1.14bn and $1.55m via his letter No. HMY &SP/003/2018/55 dated August 7, 2018.

Magu said, “Investigation into this petition has so far established that the NFF has sponsorship deals with 21 corporate organisations. The investigation further revealed that between 2008 and 2018, 11 out of the 21 corporate organisations made sponsorship payments of N5,288,990,000 and $1,550,000 to NFF as against the amounted stated in the ministers’ letter under reference above.

“One of the companies appointed as financial consultant to the NFF is owned by the 2nd Vice President of the NFF in person of Alhaji Shehu Dikko. The audit trail of the funds and its utilisation is currently ongoing with a view to prosecuting anyone found culpable of any offence,” the report said.

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