By Olusola ‘Jide @jide_olusola
The Chairman, Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, Okoi Obono-Obla has vowed to arrest the officials of the Nigeria Football Federation if they fail to appear before the panel after the Africa Nations Cup qualifier against South Africa.
The game will be played on November 11 at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.
Obono-Obla while speaking with Daily Trust, said he doesn’t interfere with investigation and rejected claims that his committee is trying to exclude some officials from being investigated.
The panel is investigating a case of conspiracy and alleged diversion of public funds at the NFF.
“I don’t interfere, but I can assure that everybody whose names have been mentioned there will be investigated.”
“If his name is mentioned and he is not invited at the end of the day, I will get the report on this issue and ask them why he is not investigated. Their fears are misplaced. They should allow us to do our work.”
“Sometimes when they mention somebody, they will go after the subordinates and use the statements to get the oga. I will not exclude anyone under my chairmanship,” he noted.
He further stated that he will not deploy Gestapo tactics as his panel is very democratic, hence the reason why he allowed the NFF officials to sign undertaken to enable them attend to CAF commitments.
“They wrote a letter requesting for a stand down. We are in a democracy and we will not use Gestapo tactics.”
“We granted the excuse for them to play the game against South Africa. If they don’t come, we arrest them if they want to be elusive. We have the power of arrest,” he declared.
It will be recalled that the chairman of the League Management Company (LMC) and NFF 2nd vice-president Shehu Dikko on last week Thursday appeared before the panel.
Obla further revealed that NFF president, Amaju Pinnick is among those to be investigated.
He said, though Pinnick is not among those currently invited for questioning, he is however not exonerated from the investigation.
It will be also recalled that the seven NFF officials were invited to appear before the panel on last week, but they failed to show up.
The officials were NFF vice-presidents Seyi Akinwunmi and Shehu Dikko, NFF finance director Mohammed Cheku, Alizor Chuks of the marketing department, NFF executive committee member Ahmed Yusuf ‘Fresh’ as well former excos, Chris Green and Sunday Dele Ajayi.