Football Corruption: ICPC seals houses of NFF President Pinnick, Dikko

NFF Chairman and CAF VP, Amaju Pinnick
NFF Chairman and CAF VP, Amaju Pinnick

The anti-graft agency, ICPC, has confirmed that it has sealed the houses of two top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

In separate statements via its official Twitter handle on Friday, the anti-graft agency said it has sealed the Lagos residence of the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, as well as the Abuja residence of the second Vice President, Shehu Dikko.

 

 

The ICPC is yet to provide details of its investigation.

Messrs Pinnick and Dikko, as well as other NFF officials, are already being tried for alleged corrupt practices at the NFF. That trial is by the presidential anti-corruption panel.

The NFF has also been under probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The latest investigation is looking into fraud allegations over how sponsorship money meant for the development of football in the country has been stolen.

“What I can confirm is that officials of the Nigeria Football Federation are being investigated by the agency,” EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, told BBC Sport.

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The allegations against the NFF officials include mismanaging funds secured from official sponsors, domestic league’s television sponsorship and payments from a former kit supplier for all the national teams.

It also focuses on funds provided by federal and state governments for friendly matches involving the Super Eagles and the misappropriation of about $2.7 million from the Financial Assistance Programme of football’s world governing body, FIFA.

A PREMIUM TIMES investigation earlier in the year revealed how Nigerian football officials are hiding behind the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) regulation that prohibits government’s interference in football matters to divert grants and funds from sponsorship deals.

The weeks-long investigation by PREMIUM TIMES showed that the Amaju Pinnick-led Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) exploited this independence to mismanage funds at its disposal, which include allocations from the public treasury.

The PREMIUM TIMES’ investigation involved reviews of official documents from the NFF, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), the Presidency, the Ministry of Youth and Sports as well as testimonies of people familiar with the operations of the football federation.

Messrs Pinnick and Dikko have always denied any wrongdoing.

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