Buhari orders EFCC to prosecute NFF chairman Pinnick after finding out he received $16m over two years

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the immediate prosecution of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick over allegations that he was involved in a multi-billion scam.


Mr Pinnick, who was recently elected for a second term as NFF president, has been under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) concerning how the federation's funds are spent. Now, President Buhari has asked the Special Presidential Investigative Panel on the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) headed by Chief Okoi Obono-Obla to step in and prosecute the NFF boss and also place a travel ban on Mr Pinnick.


President Buhari gave the order for Mr Pinnick’s prosecution when Chief Obono-Obla presented a preliminary investigation report on the NFF. Already, the EFCC has submitted its report on the NFF to the president detailing the outcome of its investigations and it is believed the findings tally with what Chief Obono-Obla’s panel also uncovered.


In a six-page report, EFCC chairman Ibrahim Magu had informed President Buhari that the anti-graft agency had investigated and prosecuted the NFF director of finance Christopher Andekin, its head of administration Jafaru Mamzah and a cashier Rajan Zaka, over an alleged financial scam connected to payments from  Fifa and the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to the NFF between 2014 and 2016.


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


According to presidency sources, the president also directed Mr Magu to come up with unassailable facts and pieces of evidence that would nail the suspects at the court. According to the EFCC preliminary report, the domiciliary accounts of the NFF domiciled with Zenith Bank and UBA had received total inflow of $16.41m from Fifa and Caf between January 2014 and June 2016.


Mr Magu said: “Investigation into this petition has so far established that the NFF has sponsorship deals with 21 corporate organisation. The investigation further revealed that between 2008 and 2018, 11 out of the 21 corporate organisations made sponsorship payment of N5,288,990,000 and $1,550,000 to the 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 second vice president of the NFF in the 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.”