$9.5 million FIFA grant: Court orders NFF to produce charge against Pinnick

NFF Chairman, Amaju Pinnick
NFF Chairman, Amaju Pinnick

An FCT High Court, Maitama, on Tuesday ordered the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to produce a copy of the Magistrates Court’s charge sheet against Amaju Pinnick and Muhammed Sanusi in the alleged $9. 5 million FIFA grant scam.

Justice Peter Affen gave the order after NFF lawyer, Festus Ukpe, told the court that the same matter was pending at a magistrate court against Messrs Pinnick and Sanusi.

The judge demanded for the copy of the charge before the magistrate court to avoid abuse of court processes.

Mr Affen further ordered Mr Ukpe to file further affidavit before May 30 showing that the case was pending in such court.

He then adjourned until May 30 for hearing.

EFCC said he was joining the duo, Amaju Pinnick, NFF president and Muhammad Sanusi, General Secretary in the charge.

Those standing trial earlier are Christopher Andekin, NFF Director of Administration and Finance, Reagan Zaka, Cashier and Fadanari Mamza, Head, Finance and Account Department.

They were dragged to the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on five counts of criminal conspiracy, breach of trust and misappropriation.

The EFCC, through its counsel, Steve Odiase, told the court that the three defendants conspired between January 8 and January 26, 2015 to commit the offences, contrary to Section 97 of Penal Code.

Mr Odiase alleged that Mr Andekin was entrusted with money meant for the development of football in Nigeria, a grant from the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA).

He said Mr Andekin however fraudulently diverted $1.3 million from the NFF domiciliary account with Zenith Bank, an act that is contrary to section 311 of the Penal Code.

He further alleged that Zaka on his part, fraudulently diverted $7. 2 million grant from FIFA for development of football in Nigeria while Mr Mamza diverted $2. 3 million.

The defendants all pleaded not guilty to the charge.

(NAN)

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