FG Court Arraignment: NFF Alleges Conspiracy, Denies Charges
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By Amaechi Agbo
The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF has alleged that the reported court arraignment of its top officials is an act of conspiracy and a mission to destroy the federation even as it denies the 17 court charges slammed on it by the federal government over monument misappropriation and maladministration in the Glass House Tuesday, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can report.
The Federal Government Tuesday charged the NFF, Amaju Pinnick NFF Secretary, Sunusi Mohammed; the 1st Vice-President, Seyi Akinwumi; the 2nd Vice-President, Shehu Dikko and an Executive member, Yusuff Fresh. with alleged misappropriation of $8,400 belonging to the football body.
The defendants were also accused of moving dishonestly and intentionally the sum of about N4bn belonging to the NFF without the consent of the NFF
However, NFF in a press release on the wee hours of Wednesday signed by its head of media and publicity, Suleman Yahaya Kwade said 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 (SPIP) to lend itself as an instrument of cheap blackmail in the fight for the political leadership of NFF adding that the federation is court already again the SPIP chairman.
part if the statement reads “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. When the matter came up for hearing on April 20, 2019, Barrister Celsus Ukpong, the lawyer representing SPIP wrote a letter applying for an adjournment of the matter, as he could not appear in court for official reasons. The suit was accordingly adjourned to May 13, 2019 for definite hearing.
“The determination of SPIP and Chief Okono-Obla to act unlawfully and in undisguised bias against NFF and its leadership is well documented and forms the basis of NFF’s petition to the Hon. Attorney-General and Minister of Justice since January 2019, as well joining the office of the Hon. Attorney-General in all the suits we have filed against SPIP. We are confident that this regrettable matter will be appropriately dealt with in the due course.
“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 the unwary 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, have been widely disseminated by SPIP and its collaborators.
“It is important, and interesting, to note that the proposed list of witnesses of SPIP consists entirely of the names of the same persons who have publicly been engaged in fighting the duly elected leadership of NFF, including the forceful takeover of the NFF office in July 2018, the filing of multiple suits to stop the NFF elections of September 20, 2018 in Katsina, Katsina State and the presentation of the same false petitions to all the law enforcement agencies in Nigeria. This should say a lot about these false allegations and the manner of persons actively working in cahoots with Chief Obon-Obla led SPIP to discredit the NFF and its leadership evidently to achieve what they failed to do through the ballot box – which is to effect a change of leadership in in the NFF.
“However, it is much to be regretted that these elements have also sought to embarrass our sponsors, partners and consultants in their unholy and desperate gambit to achieve their condemnable efforts to bring NFF and its leadership into public disrepute having failed in all their machinations to take over its leadership.
“We wish to assure that our legal team is fully engaged with this matter in order to defeat these baseless and politically motivated attack on the NFF and its leadership. We are confident that at the end of the day the truth will prevail, this mission of destruction will fail and Nigeria football will triumph over this conspiracy.”