Admin With agency reports
A former official of the Nigeria Football Federation has exposed ills in the famous Glass House as it concern mishandling of money meant for the football house
Nigeria Football Federation lacks financial transparency as a consequence of “mismanagement under Amaju Pinnick”, according to Ondo State FA chairman, Otunba Dele Ajayi.
The NFF over the years has been smashed with various allegations of corruption and misappropriation of funds, a situation which has heightened calls for a presidential probe.
Recently, reports had it that Pinnick was arrested, placed on a travel ban and set to be prosecuted by President Muhammadu Buhari over cases of financial misconduct – however, the NFF boss debunked the claims.
However, it took a new twist as a former NFF member confirmed that those allegations of financial transgressions in the country’s football house under Pinnick are true.
“There is a lot of mismanagement in the Nigeria Football Federation under Amaju Pinnick and I can tell you that for more than three years, there was no approval,” said Ajayi during a no-holds-barred interview on Orange FM.
“The board members were not aware of all the funds flying about, you can only talk of three or four people who aware of those funds, there is no transparency.
“There is nothing like executive in the books of the NFF. When you receive money, you take it to the board and the board must approve. When I got there as chairman of finance with experience during the civil service years, everybody must have an approving limit.
“When we were sworn-in, I was made the chairman of finance but when I don’t want them to do otherwise, they had to replace me but now I’m being vindicated.”
After an audit on NFF account by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation was cleared of financial deceit by Fifa, but Otunba Ajayi felt otherwise.
“The audit firm [Price Water] will be rubbished one of these days because the world will soon know what they have done in Nigeria. They cook books for them because when you look at it, Fifa cannot tell us what we are doing here,” he continued.
“When [Pinnick] collected 1.5 billion naira from the government and was telling us he did not collect a dime, where did the money go to? [NFF] collected three million dollars from Fifa which did not reach the account of the NFF. They collected one million dollars from Caf without board members being aware of such money even sponsorships.
“Even the Aiteo Cup, referees who officiated the tournament two years ago have not been paid and they collected billions from the sponsors, how can they be cleared?”
Although Fifa frowns at government interference in football, the administrator wants the Confederation of African Football 1st vice-president to be probed as there are unpretentious evidences.
He added: “The minister keeps saying it that a panel set up by the federal government has indicted somebody with mismanagement and misappropriation of funds. When the case gets to court you know what will happen with Fifa.”
“There are different ways to deal with financial irregularities, if the NFF are receiving money alone from Fifa then they have the rights to spend it the way they want and explain to Fifa but when they collect money from the federal government and they don’t have any explanation to that, are we saying that the government has no right to ask for the appropriation because they affiliated to Fifa?
“The last friendly match Nigeria played in Port Harcourt, Rivers state government gave them 250,000 dollars cash and a hundred. Board members were not even given money for flight, we have to sponsor ourselves and when we asked [Pinnick], he said the money has finished.
“We have various documents to prove this misappropriation. The truth will prevail, all of us will know the truth about these things one day whether the government have the right to probe them or not. You should listen to the minister of sports, he is the one releasing funds to them.
“How can we say we went to Russia, the senate through its president gave you 200 million naira, some state governments like Lagos, Rivers, Delta gave you 100 million naira each and they were not declared at all. Is the money personal to them or the organisation?”