Connect with us


Nigerian FA Under Scrutiny: CAF’s Vice-President Sweating over Government US$16M Investigation of NFF

Nigeria’s Football Federation is under intense scrutiny regarding US$16m FIFA money.

All is not well in Nigeria’s sports sector with the Football Federation in Abuja under intense scrutiny regarding an over US$16m FIFA money.
The FA in the West African nation is being subjected to grilling by an anti-graft agency on the suspicious handling of $16,417,761.
The figure, believed to be cash inflow from FIFA and CAF discovered in the FA’s Zenith and UBA bank accounts spanning from 2014 to 2016, has raised qualms amid government’s (through the Sports ministry) insistence for an explanation.
The situation has placed the Nigerian football governing entity at a corner as the Special Presidential Panel launches rigorous investigation into the issue.
In the heat of the moment, reports in the Abuja press over the weekend claim Amaju Melvine Pinnick –NFF head and CAF Ahmad Ahmad’s deputy– has been smacked with a travel ban imposed by Mohamadu Buhari’s leadership.
An online portal even suggested Pinnick is mulling overover challen the verdict in a decent court of law in the wake of rumours he could face severe litigation.
NFF swiftly pieced a communiqué repudiating the allegations, including the travel ban purportedly placed on Amaju who is also Confederation of African Football’s vice-president.
In the dispatch, privy to a Ducor Sports source in Abuja made public only 48 hours later, NFF, while debunking the allegations in the press, said Pinnick was in Ghana last Friday meeting NFF partners and returned on the same day unhindered.
“The report is completely unfounded and is only a product of the writer’s imagination. The NFF President, who is also the 1st Vice President of the Confederation of African Football, has not received any such message from any of the agencies mentioned by the writer and has also never been placed on aa trave ban.
“Mr. Pinnick was in Accra, Ghana on Friday, 4th January 2019 for a meeting with NFF and CAF partners AITEO and returned to Nigeria the same day. He has been going about his lawful official and private activities unhindered. The NFF published its audited account in two (2) major national newspapers (ThisDay and Daily Trust) on Thursday, 20th December 2018 and in another major newspaper (Vanguard) on Tuesday, 25th December 2018. Anyone interested in the Federation’s financial transactions can refer to those pages.”
“All incomes to the NFF from the Federal Government, FIFA and CAF from 2014 till now have been correctly recorded and reflected in our accounts. The NFF received nothing like the N59 Billion that the fake news reporters have been hawking. It is laughable. Our lawyers will take up the matter of the fake news item with the newspaper company that first published it in its online edition. But we urge other media companies and outlets to be painstaking in verification of their news items,” Olajire Ademola, the FA’s Media Director said, hinting they’re exploring with their attorneys possibilities of instituting legal action against authors of the trending ‘fake’ story.
With matters now at this level as the football house sweats over the saga, Pinnick met Sports Editors in a behind closed doors meeting over the weekend. Details of what transpired in the meeting are yet to be made public, but it is believed to be an attempt by Amaju to talk the press out of piecing negative stories on the NFF finances pending conclusion of the ongoing probing by government.
In the latest twist, it is being hinted that the federation’s admin and finance officers could be dragged to court over graft charges.
Relationship between the NFF and the sports ministry have been at an all-time low and things have taken a drastic turn after it emerged that one of the consultancy firms assigned to audit the NFF finances is owned by federation’s vice-president Alhaji Shehhu Dikko.
FIFA Quiet for Now
World football governing body FIFA has a strong stance towards third party interference in the running of football, often imposing international bans on country’s found wanting of the act.
Pinnick followers perceive the investigation as a witch-hunt by the FA’s detractors. However, it will make for an interesting drama, observers reckon, if the panel unearths compelling evidence of corrupt practices which pundits say will leave an overly strict FIFA with no options but to dissolve the FA or allow a court action against Amaju.
National teams of countries falling foul of FIFA rules are more often than not restricted from international competitions, leaving the fate of the Super Eagle, who qualified for this year’s Nations Cup, hanging the balance.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Football

Translate »