Chairman, Presidential Investigative Panel on recovery of public funds, Barrister Okoi Obono-Obla has assured Nigerians that Federal Government, the world football governing body, FIFA and CAF will not interfere in the case of alleged corruption leveled against five NFF officials.
Obono-Obla revealed that the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, Shehu Dikko, Seyi Akinwunmi, Ahmed Yusuf Fresh and Dr. Mohammed Sanusi have been invited to their office to clear their names on the corruption allegation against them.
Okoi added that they, however, failed to show up for further investigation which forced the panel to file charges against the NFF officials and arraign them in a Magistrate Court in Abuja.
“They were invited to clear their names on allegations leveled against them and were released on self recognition. We gave them a date to report back but failed to appear to clear their names. Though we have evaluated our findings and established some facts, so based on this, we file to charge them to court.”
Speaking on whether Federal Government will interfere as it was done during the FIFA ban threat, Barrister Obono-Obla said that President Muhammadu Buhari led administration has a policy of non-interference in the work of the anti-corruption agency.
He added that FIFA and CAF can never threatened to ban Nigeria over the issue because it is a case of corruption and both football governing bodies do not encourage corruption.
“We should know that this government has a policy of non-interference in a case of the anti-corruption agency.”
“If someone is invited to clear his name over alleged fraud and was released on self-recognition and the person failed to report back, and the panel takes the right step against such person, so, why will FIFA ban Nigeria, ” he asked.
“FIFA can not ban Nigeria when a member broke the criminal law of Nigeria.”
He, however, assured Nigeria that the NFF officials will be arraigned in a court of competent jurisdiction.
“I am assuring Nigerians that these people will be arraigned, we are putting finishing touches to the arraignment, you know there is a process in doing that.” He concluded.
It will be noted that four officials Presidential Investigative Panel on Friday stormed the Nigeria Football Federation headquarter around 11:00 am with warrant of arrest to effect the arrest of the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, First Vice-President, Seyi Akinwunmi, Second Vice President, Shehu Dikko, NFF Secretary General, Dr. Sanusi Mohammed and Ahmed Yusuf Fresh over alleged corruption in the Glasshouse and failure to report back to the panel for further investigation but none of them were at the Glasshouse.