Wednesday Nov 06, 2019. 14:00
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick has had a graft case against him and four other officials dropped after the organisation tasked with handling the investigation was disbanded.
There were 16 charges brought in a case by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP), including the alleged mismanagement of $8.4-million paid by FIFA to the NFF for participation at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
But Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari has disbanded the SPIP after allegations of corruption were made against its own officials, and a High Court ruling this week has ended the investigation.
All officials, including Pinnick, have denied any wrong-doing, suggesting the charges were a smear campaign aimed at discrediting them.
“On Tuesday, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu dismissed the entire case with all 16 charges, and acquitted the NFF chieftains in consideration of the submission of the defence and the prosecution and in line with the rules of administration of criminal justice,” the NFF said in a statement.
“The clean bill is a confirmation of the position of the NFF on all swirling allegations of corruption against its officials. Nigeria’s supreme football governing body has always insisted that its leaders were being victimized by persons who lost elections through the ballot and were seeking other means to upturn things at Glass House, or disgruntled individuals simply on a mission of vendetta.”