Nigeria Football Federation gets a clean bill on SPIP corruption case
The Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP) has dropped its corruption case against five officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), including president Amaju Pinnick.
The case, which was made up of 16 charges, was dismissed at the Abuja High Court on Tuesday following the dissolution of the SPIP in September.
Charges ranged from failure to declare their assets, the alleged disappearance of US$8.4 million paid by Fifa to Nigeria for participation in the 2014 World Cup and through to fictitious international friendly matches.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the end of the SPIP following allegations of corruption against its own chairman Okoi Obono-Obla.
Pinnick’s case was taken over in May by the country’s Attorney General (AGF) after alleging ‘victimisation’ in the SPIP case.
The SPIP’s investigation centred on Pinnick along with NFF vice presidents Seyi Akinwunmi and Shehu Dikko as well as general secretary Mohammed Sanusi and executive committee member Ahmed Yusuf.
“The clean bill is a confirmation of the position of the NFF on all swirling allegations of corruption against its officials,” the NFF published in a statement.
“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 (NFF headquarters), or disgruntled individuals simply on a mission of vendetta.”
Despite Tuesday’s development two other bodies are continuing its investigations into the NFF.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) still has two corruption cases against the federation while the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission’s (ICPC) seized properties in September as part of yet another probe.
The ICPC is yet to bring a formal case against the federation or any of its member but BBC Sport understands that the investigations are looking at allegations of how sponsorship money generated from the second tier of the country’s game was spent.
All five top officials have always denied any wrongdoing. (BBC)