NFF Corruption: Dare to Pinnick, Dikko, Others –Carry Your Cross
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has admonished the leadership and Executive Board members of the Nigerian Football Federation, NFF, to clean up its house and deal with the damaging perception around its actions.
The minister who stated this over the weekend when in a meeting with the NFF’s fifteen executive members on Friday said he would not interfere in the on-going corruption investigation being carried out on Federation
The minister’s stand is coming in wake of more corruption allegations and investigations against the top officials of the federation by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) who recently placed the Lagos and Abuja residences of Amaju Pinnick and Shehu Dikko, president and 2nd Vice President of NFF under investigation.
Rasheedat Okoduwa, an ICPC spokesperson, had told TheCable that Dikko, as well as some other NFF executives residences, are under investigation for corruption allegations.
At the parley, the minister assured the NFF of non-interference in the on-going anti-graft agencies investigation on some of its board members.
Dare noted that the mention of corruption around the football house and its seeming lack of seriousness is hurting the sport. He added that beyond the football governing body cleaning up its acts, “NFF needs to be more transparent in the way it conducts its affairs.
“The executive board (of NFF) should learn to do things differently, the Minister will not interfere with EFCC or ICPC since it is important to allow these organizations follow their own due processes.
“We must allow them to do their work,” Dare said
In his first meeting with the entire membership of the board of the NFF, he pointed out that the perception of corruption and unseriousness by the NFF leadership in cleansing its house is hurting the sport.
The minister pointed out that the federation must chart a new course in conducting its affairs transparently.
“The perception is that the NFF is corrupt. The perception is that of unseriousness; this perception is hurting the sport.
“We need to reset the perception, the charge of corruption and other negative things can be turned around by embracing transparency.”
NFF officials have denied being corrupt in the past with Pinnick once saying the investigation made them “feel unsafe”.
NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, with some other board members, had lamented the on-going investigation of some of them by anti-graft agencies, saying they now “feel unsafe”. Pinnick promised that the football body would henceforth provide updates to the minister by sending him memos “for every fund received” as proof of the federation’s commitment to the prescribed era of transparency.
The NFF has been on the watch-list of the anti-corruption agencies and is currently under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Special Presidential Investigation Panel on Recovery of Public Property (SPIP).
The executives of the federation have been accused of diverting funds meant for the association