Amaju Pinnick. PHOTO: BBC
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may have been fed with substantive information on alleged financial impropriety of the Amaju Pinnick-led Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), and is set to investigate and take necessary action against Pinnick and three other top board members of the football federation.
Other members of the Pinnick-led NFF board fingered to be investigated are Shehu Dikko and a few others.This follows a petition it received from a former National team Coach, James Peters on May 4, 2018 with a heading ‘Monumental stealing and financial crimes in the Nigeria Football Federation’ received by the Executive Chairman of EFCC on May 4, 2018.
In the petition, Peters who, coached National teams and led them to notable victories and also served as Technical Director with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for many years, urged the anti-graft agency to carry out a thorough investigation on an alleged “unprecedented stealing, corrupt practices and financial crimes being perpetrated by the current president Amaju Melvin Pinnick, the General Secretary Dr Mohammed Sanusi, the first vice president Barrister Seyi Akinwumi, the second vice president Mallam Shehu Dikko and a member of the Executive Committee, Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf (also known as Fresh).
The former technical director also alleged “stealing and fraudulent activities by Financial Derivatives Limited, a company cunningly brought into the NFF by Amaju Pinnick for the sole purpose of warehousing money outside the official accounts of the NFF in the Central Bank and diverting same for fraudulent activities.”
Similarly, the petition alleged that “These NFF chieftains have also used the company Mediterranean Sports Limited, belonging to Shehu Dikko, who is the Second Vice President of the Executive Committee, Chairman of the League Management Company, a body saddled with the responsibility of running the elite league, and attracts millions of dollars from sponsorships and Chairman, Marketing and Sponsorship sub-committee of the NFF to collect over 40% of revenues from the numerous sponsors of the NFF.”
In a notification letter with ref no: EFCC/EC/mos/59/17 written to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports by the Executive Chairman, the EFCC notified the Ministry that it has received a petition from Mr. Peters and thereby ‘forward same for investigation and necessary action’.
The Petitioner in the letter, alleged that despite the Federal government’s policy of Treasury Single Account (TSA), where monies of government Parastatals are lodged for purposes of checking leakages etc, Amaju Pinnick and others obtained the services of Financial Derivatives Company Limited to warehouse revenue accruing to the NFF from well spirited individuals and corporate organisations, which never got to the NFF. He alleged too that funds made available by corporate sponsors were never disclosed.
Peters called for a forensic audit to be carried out to look at all approvals and retirements by the mentioned persons. The NFF secretariat has since come alive as some of the staff members that have been suspecting fraudulent activities, are smiling that the anti-graft agency has been invited to look into the account books of the football house.
Some staffers of the NFF said yesterday that there would be startling revelations the moment EFCC personnel begins investigation.According to the staffers that would not want their names mentioned, expressed that there have been many shoddy sponsorship deals, which the leaderships of the football house have been shielding from the accounts department.