FIFA COUNCIL AMBITION: NFF Sends DSS After Journalist Who Exposes Corruption In The Federation
The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF in its clandestine moves to silence vibrant and fearless journalists who expose and report the alleged endemic corruption being perpetrated in the football house, has sent the Department of Security Services, DSS after a renowned investigative journalist and publisher of BSNSports, Niyi Busari.
The publisher was, surprisingly, invited via phone calls to report to the DSS headquarters in Abuja to answer questions with regards to stories he wrote against NFF.
The invitation came barely hours after the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick dumped his ambition to contest for the Confederation of Africa Football, CAF Presidency. The election is scheduled for 21 March next year.
Instead, the former CAF 1st Vice President who was removed from office last year, announced his ambition to contest for a position in FIFA’s Council.
BSNsports earlier had published a story detailing how the NFF had as far back as May 2020 received FIFA’s Covid-19 relief meant for clubs and football development. The report, did not go down well with the NFF who instantly issued a press statement denying the report
Surprisingly, the State Security Service otherwise known as DSS on Monday (today) via phone call invited investigative journalist, Mr Niyi Busari, Publisher, www.BSNSports.com.ng an online sports newspaper to their office in connection with a petition with an unknown and faceless petitioner.
The calls which came in on four different occasions Monday, had one Mr Jimada who claims to be calling from the Investigation Department, saying he was calling to officially invite Mr Busari to the DSS office in Abuja.
Though, when asked, Jimada refused to say his full names, his position in DSS, the writer of the petition against Mr Niyi Busari and the content of the petition.
He however, claimed that all questions will be answered when Niyi honours the invitation
Here are excerpts of the telephone conversations between Niyi Busari and officials of the DSS on Monday afternoon.
“Hello, good morning, I am calling you from the DSS national headquarters, can you hear me? The young man who called Niyi’s number said.
“Your attention is needed in our office.” He added.
Okay, what is your name? I asked. I am Olatunbosun he replied.
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Olatunbosun DSS official: Come to our office at Aso Drive, near Yellow House close to Villa. Take a cab and tell the driver that you are going to DSS office, Aso Drive, they will take you there.”
When will be convenient for you? Are you on your way already? He asked again
BSN Sports: No! My schedule is very tight today. Can we fix another day? Niyi replied.
DSS official: Okay Come tomorrow by 11am. Okay. So, if you come, say you’re here to see the Director in charge of Investigation.
BSN Sports: Why am I being invited? Niyi asked.
Olatunbosun couldn’t answer the question and asked BSN Sports to hold on while handing the phone over to Mr Jimada.
Jimada: “Hello, good afternoon, how are you?
BSN Sports: My name is Niyi Busari, may I know who I am speaking with?
You’re speaking with Jimada. Sorry, we are just eehh, we need eehh, we received eeh, some petitions which we are investigating and your name was mentioned. Jimada stuttered.
BSN: “From who, who wrote the petition? I want to know who wrote the petition, sir?
Jimada: Don’t worry when you come we will give you, you will see it and then tell us your own side of the story. It is nothing much. So, don’t just worry yourself.
BSN: You said you’re Mr Jimada? Please, what is your position in DSS?
I am from the Investigative Department.
BSN: “I will not be able to be at the DSS office tomorrow due to my tight schedule.
Jimada: Okay, no problem. He ended the call.
After one hour, BSN Sports called the official line of the DSS back.
Good afternoon, this is BSN Sports, my name is Niyi Busari.
BSN Sports: Please, I want to speak with Mr Jimada. Okay, please hold on, the receiver responded.
BSN Sports: Please, I want to ask some questions as regards my invitation to the DSS office.
DSS official: Oh, okay, hold on, before the question, you’re invited to come today.
BSN Sports: They called me earlier to appear today but I told them i cant make it today.
DSS: Okay, this is an official line and anybody can answer the calls that come in through this line.
BSN: One Mr Jimada was the official that invited me.
DSS Official: Okay, Mr Jimada, wait I will take the phone to Mr Jimada now.
BSN : Hello afternoon, Mr Jimada. Please, I want to ask of your full name and your position, sir.
Jimada: What do you want to do with my name. I earlier told you my name and where I work.
BSN: Please, I will need your full name and position.
Jimada: What do you want to do with it?
BSN: My lawyer asked for it and secondly I will like to know who wrote the petition and what it is about.
Jimada: Sorry, you see, sorry, this is not an issue. You know I told you the issue on ground.
BSN: No, you’ve not told me. I want to know why I am being invited.
Jimada: Sorry now, listen to me, I told you that bah, if you come, it is just for you to go to OUS. You’re free to come with your lawyer. We are not stopping that. There’s nothing we are hiding.
BSN Sports: I cant come to your office based on phone invitation. That’s not an official invitation.
Jimada: Then give us your official address. Jimada said and dropped the call.
On October 1st 2020, Niyi Busari (CEO BSN Sports) held a meeting with one Mr Kamal Adefila Abilemi, the President of one of the Civil Society in Nigeria who claimed he pleaded with a top DSS official not to arrest BSN Sports Publisher. According to him, BSN Sports published a story a week before the meeting, the said story was sent to the top DSS official by one top NFF bigwig, who wanted the CEO to be dealt with by the DSS officials.
He added that the story was not fake but need to use his position to deal with BSN Sports to scare the online newspaper away from publishing subsequent news about him.
He revealed that he wanted DSS to arrest the CEO and then charge him to court. Few days after the meeting, this call from the DSS finally came in.
DSS responsibilities are within the country and include counter-intelligence , internal security , counter-terrorism , and surveillance as well as investigating some other types of grave crimes against the state. It is also charged with the protection of senior government officials, particularly the President and Vice President with their respective families, and state governors .
It is headquartered in Abuja. According to the 1999 Presidential Proclamation, the SSS operates as a department within the presidency and is under the control of the National Security Adviser .