Fraud allegation: Not In Defence of Amaju Pinnick, Others but the Game

By News Express on May 13, 2019

Views: 10,979

“The best of football moves from one jurisdiction to another and the place of domicile is usually applauded for mastery and competence of the round leather game within the given period. It was in England then Holland, and then Italy, Spain and back to England. Trophy hauls by clubs are in my opinion evidence of this movement of the game. Its hats up for England whose four clubs; Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal, and Chelsea are playing on two UEFA finals!”

To be honest with you, I won’t agree less with the above comment posted to me by one of the masters of the game, great analyst, writer, and my friend and uncle; one who has oftentimes passed clean bill of health on this page and the reporter. He is currently reinventing sports in Edo State as Executive Chairman Edo State Sports Commission; it’s no other than the very erudite Barrister Godwin Dudu Orumen.

Thank you, Sir. You have always encouraged me and Daily Sports from inception. Let me add that the above opinion despite its length can vividly be a lesson for Nigeria and the club sides to learn how doggedness, focus, deep interest, and timing can bring the desired change in the history of a game whose outcome can change in seconds.  Thank you, sir, for being there! Congratulations English FA, EPL and the management, board, staff, and players of these history chasing teams.

I don’t know how the Nigeria Football Federation’s Amaju Pinnick and its executive committee members accused of fraud by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property led by Mr Okoi Obono-Obla managed the influx of calls that may have bombarded their lines when the news broke, if the volume of calls I received is anything to go by.

Most known detractors of the football ruling house (within and outside) celebrated what they termed the fall of Amaju and his colleagues. For the first time, I was so patient to calmly listen to their garbage despite my anger boiling to high heavens inside me due to the naughty and unprintable language and words they used.

It was un-abating that one thought ran through my mind that I should switch off my line but the other voice said what if another call other than these ones came calling. When the calls were pouring, what was going through my mind was, so these people have this number of enemies. No jokes, it was obvious in every sense of the word. I also responded to a few of them pointedly that neither Amaju or his concerned colleagues were enemies of the writer; that what they must have read here remains one of my core duties as a journalist putting them on their toes and ensuring that the watchdog role of the press is vibrant. I did politely let them understand that all that was made public are a mere allegation which the accused would respond accordingly in defence of themselves and actions. Let me also make it known here that I don’t belong to the Bring Him Down Syndrome group. My Bible tells me that “He, who kills by the Sword, would die by the Sword” therefore I don’t speculate or practice yellow journalism all my years and so far. What I put down on this page are factual and not to get at anybody or group; what for! I pray you don’t read my write-ups on any subject matter upside down.

I am a partner in progress with NFF and its executive committee members which Amaju Pinnick is currently heading. When one of my Ogas, called me after reading it on Daily Sports website, I screamed to the hearing of two of them that so the enemies of Nigerian football are yet to go to bed and wait for another election after this second term of Amaju Pinnick regime is due. My anger boiled over in two ways; one, why does Nigeria as dismantled hen suck its finest eggs. Two, I said to nobody else, that, why this sabotage even from people that have benefitted from his benevolence and have said severally in the public that the fight is over. It is worrisome that this is the way Nigeria is. Those conspirators that are bent to use whatever means to get this man out what would it profit them. The end result is a quest for power. Yes, Amaju Pinnick may be difficult and arrogant fellow but we all must not be the same.

The present wildfire raging in Nigerian football house would if reason and common sense are not applied turn out to be an ill wind that would blow nobody any good. This article is never in defence of Amaju Pinnick and others as the headline implies. What one is just saying is that thorough and due process must be followed to thrash out the issues at stake. There must not be a kangaroo or witch hunt judgment. Nigeria has been beaten several times on representation in Africa’s highest football governing body and now we are back and solidly too, so we must not toy with it. Amaju Pinnick, despite what he has been accused of by his opponents has brought vibrancy and hold into Nigerian football administration and the NFF has a visible sponsor. He has some good measure of aura and it has followed the game since he came onboard.

My take on this, because many asked for it, is that those plotting the disgraceful fall of this man must allow reason to be and they must know that it is not an individual they are chasing but Nigeria as an entity. The image of the country in international circles could be dented. I am saying that these weighty claims must be cautiously handled and its proponents thread softly in the overall interest of the game in the land rather than self and self. We all knew how long it took the country to get back to CAF and FIFA after some people played the devil’s advocate.

To this writer, the next election is almost here; rather than engage in these distractions and finger pointing, those of them interested should get down and start their preparations. To disrupt the process already on course would forever not only hunt those behind this ill-advised conspiracy theory but they would be engaging on a wide goose chase. For the records, the major plotter of this vicious circle for Nigeria football is Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung who has vowed to fall with Amaju and his other tough three. Still on that note, the man from Plateau is like going, going . . . because if one will hold Buhari by his words, (though I have held all his pronouncements with pinch of salt, except when it comes to anything South East that he implements to the latter) that only competency rather than party patronage would be the major basis for his Ministerial appointments in this his highly disputed second coming, Dalung has fallen this test already.

Let us give it to him, Amaju and his team have done well bringing the game gradually where it is ought to be and for a gang of power-hungry men to dispute the peaceful atmosphere that is now associated with the game and its administration would amount to taken the huge fans of the number one sport to the cleaners and therefore unacceptable. These trouble makers, the more you look, the less you see touts hiding under the guise of patriots want to bring back the darker days. They must see reason and allow us peace here. Justice should be allowed to take its full course in this circumstance though justice in Nigeria sadly now has been tilted to the side of the government in power. You read the kind of judgment the Appellate court delivered in the Osun State guber election leaving out the nitty-gritty of the case at hand to return APC candidate on the ground that one of the judges was absent in one or so of the Election Tribunal sitting. I digress.

As I am about dropping the anchor, the government of the day must watch its back, steps and stand carefully on this trending make or mar allegation. It must weigh critically the advice of its lawyers on football matters so that through due process justice is properly dispensed because anything that would bring FIFA into Nigeria football negatively would spell doom and would be uncontrollable. If you did not read this issue under discourse, here is a recap below… Enjoy.

As our social media platforms are open, let’s discuss more using civilised language and words. Stick strictly to Daily Sports online and keep shooting hard until next week!!

FG Drags Amaju Pinnick, Four Others To Court For Alleged $8,400 And N4bn Fraud

The Federal Government has dragged the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, and four others to court for allegedly misappropriating $8,400 belonging to the football body.

The four other suspects are NFF Secretary, Sanusi Mohammed; the 1st Vice-President, Seyi Akinwumi; the 2nd Vice-President, Shehu Dikko and an Executive member, Yusuff Fresh. Reports show that the charges against them were filed by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), led by Okoi Obono-Obla, In a 17-count charge, marked FHC/ABJ/CR/93/2019, filed by that panel before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, the $8,400 in question was said to have been paid by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to the NFF as appearance fees in the group stage of the Russia 2018 World Cup. The defendants were also accused of moving the sum of about N4bn “dishonestly and intentionally” which belonged to the NFF without the consent of the football federation in the country. They were also accused of failing and neglecting to declare their assets.

Source News Express

Posted May 13, 2019


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