…. Panel may declare Pinnick, others wanted
Officials of the Presidential Investigative Panel on Friday at about 11:00am made efforts to effect the arrests of top Nigeria Football Federation officials indicted by the panel of misappropriation of funds.
It will be recalled that the Presidential Investigative Panel had on Tuesday issued warrant of arrest on NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, First vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi, Second Vice President, Shehu Dikko, NFF Secretary General, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi and Ahmed Yusuf ‘Fresh’.
According to reports, the NFF top guns were not in the office when the panel officials arrived with the warrant of arrest document.
The panel is investigating a case of conspiracy and alleged diversion of public funds at the NFF.
Abuja-based legal practitioner, Barrister Gbenga Adeniran Dada said, “having fulfilled all legal processes, the SPIPP may have no option that to declare the officials of the NFF wanted so that any citizen anywhere can arrest them anywhere.”
Meanwhile, another lawyer, Chukwuma Ekezie said, “the only option available to the panel is to declare them wanted. Being on bail is a privilege they have abused. For the panel to have gone to court to secure a warrant and they cannot be arrested leaves them with no option than to be declared wanted. Thereafter, they can be arraigned in court.”
The NFF officials Thursday refused to honour the invitation extended to them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). No any form of representation was made to the anti graft agency.
With the massive cabal in the Presidency as well as the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) behind the wanted NFF officials, one of the officials had boasted Thursday evening saying “they (SPIPP and EFCC) are just wasting their time.”
The Chairman, Presidential Investigative Panel, Okoi Obono-Obla had on Wednesday said that the five NFF officials must come to clear their names following alleged fraud, mismanagement and misapplication of funds levelled against them.
It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari may have been fully briefed about the monumental financial scandal involving the monies paid by FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
According to our sources, “when these figures were brought to the notice of the President in a report, he was terribly alarmed. From January 2014 to June 2016, the NFF got over $16m which they could not account for. He (President Buhari) was told that three NFF staffers were being prosecuted by the EFCC.”
The Chairman, Presidential Investigative Panel, Okoi Obono-Obla had on Wednsady said that the five NFF officials must come to clear their names following alleged fraud, mismanagement and misapplication of funds levelled against them.