Last week, the Department of Security Services, DSS, ordered stakeholders who have petitioned against senior officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) led by president Amaju Pinnick for alleged corruption.
We hereby reproduce the petition signed by Pinnick demanding that DSS intervene to ensure they are not investigated and prosecuted, claiming everything has been a political witch hunt.
Pinnick argued that the anti-corruption agencies, ICPC and EFCC, have been misled, while pointing accusing fingers at former sports minister Solomon Dalung.
The NFF president disclosed Dalung petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari on the reluctance of the anti-graft agencies to prosecute the accused officials.
Pinnick claimed that the immediate signing of the NFF Bill will bring sanity to Nigeria, while arguing rather erroneously football matters should not be handled by the courts or anti-corruption agencies.
This is The Pinnick Petition for very interesting reading…
June 21, 2019
The Director General
Department of Security Services/ DSS
THE DELIBERATE, ORGANISED, CRIMINAL AND MALICIOUS PERSECUTION OF THE NIGERIA FOOTBALL FEDERATION LEADERSHIP USING A MEDIA MOB ACTION AND THE UNWITTING ANTI- CORRUPTION AGENCIES.
REQUEST FOR INTERVENTION
We bring you the compliments of the Nigeria Football Federation Executive, Management and Staff.
Sir, you may wish to recall the avoidable and instigated Crisis that reared its head in July 2014 with regard to the Nigeria Football Federation Leadership, the attempted forceful take over of NFF office in Abuja in July, 2018, all of which ultimately resulted in a decisive action of the Presidency through the President and Commander in-Chief to ensure normalcy returned to Nigeria Football.
(2) Indeed, Fresh elections into the NFF Executive Committee were held as scheduled in September 2018 in Katsina and a new administration of the NFF leadership duly emerged for the Period (2018-2022).
The elections were adjuged the freest and fairest in the history of NFF and was observed and endorsed by both FIFA and CAF and, all Critical stakeholders. Not Surprisingly, not a Single election petition was recorded after the elections, as all the losers including the immediate past president of the NFF(2010-2014) who contested again in 2018, congratulated the Victor and incumbent and, pledge to work and support the new leadership.
(3) However those members of the group that tried to take over the NFF illegally and forcefully in July 2018 ( with active support and authority of the former minister of sport (Solomon Dalung) having now failed, and Joined by some of those who contested elections in Katsina and lost, decided to regroup and Change Strategy.
(4) The new strategy adopted by these persons is to now sponsor baseless petitions and allegations against the NFF and targeted members of its leadership ( 5 persons out of the 16 member NFF executive committee) with the support and personal involvement of the former minister of sports (Solomon Dalung) to mislead the investigating agencies to pursue these baseless petitions.
The Immediate objective is to mimic and latch onto the Government anti- corruption to tag the 5 targeted NFF leaders as corrupt with the ultimate objective of engineering they are charged to court at all cost, and subsequently removed from office.
Thus they plotted to achieve what they failed to achieve via the ballot box through blackmail, deceit and deliberately misleading the investigative agencies.
(5) Their ceaseless pressure, greatly boosted and abetted by the office of the minister of sports, resulted in all investigation agencies ( EFCC, ICPC, SPIP) opening investigations at the same time into NFF over the same petition with same complaints.
(6) Consequently, the NFF was invited by all the agencies generally to clear the allegations NFF duly submitted robust clarifications and documents to clear all the allegations, indeed, to ensure transparency, the NFF duly copied all it’s responses to the Presidency, office of the AGF, and DSS.
(7) The Petitions being contrived and totally baseless and without any shred of proof whatsoever, NFF was able to clear all the false allegations with facts and figures, and necessary back up documents.
(8) In sheer frustration, seeing that the petitions did not produce their desired or expected results, and also to confirm the obvious bias and personal involvement of the minister of sports ( Dalung) in this reprehensible plot, Dalung had to petition the president Muhamadu Buhari, and accused the entire security agencies in Nigeria for refusing to investigate the NFF despite all petitions against the NFF.
The direct and personal interest of the Minister is certainly not for the sake of Justice or finding the truth, but to find an indictment at all cost against the NFF, to use as bases to demand the removal of the NFF leadership.
(9) In this regards, the same opposition gang up with the support of the Minister, were to further misled the investigative agencies (with fresh false statements) to delve into the past to revive issues first raised in 2016 ( based on a petition by Hon. Dalung against 2014 NFF FIFA funds) and that had since been investigated in 2016 and closed early 2017.
The ultimate goal is to ensure the targeted NFF leadership are charged to court at all cost.
(10) At Present the SPIP has succumbed to the malicious claims of this opposition group and the minister ( Dalung) to fabricate false charges over non-existent amount of money in order to falsely accuse the 5 targeted NFF leaders, while EFCC are also being misled to do the same, and have now applied to the courts to add some of the NFF leadership to an ongoing matter, but the court is yet to accept its application.
Accordingly our legal advisers ( Festus Keyamo chambers and Mamman Nasir & Co) have challenged all these baseless actions in court.
(11) It is indeed on record that the NFF under my watch has since November, 2014, with the approval of members of the general assembly ( Congress), engaged and maintained the services of globally reputable financial advisory firms like pricewaterhousecoopers (PWC) as independent External auditors and, Financial Derivatives company (FDC) as financial advisors.
NFF has, therefore, kept accurate records of all finances, duly audited by PWC and even published in National dailies.
Furthermore, the NFF finance department is exclusively managed by Directors of the federal Civil service appointed by the office of the Accountant general of the federation and office of the Auditor general of the Federation.
It must be stressed in this regard, that none of the elected NFF executive committee members, including myself, are signatories to any NFF accounts ( which are only maintained with the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN).
(12) Accordingly, a simple review of the NFF published accounts audited by PWC would have shown that from my assumption of office in September 30,2014, the NFF from 2015 to 2017 (3-year financial Analysis) have received a gross revenue from all sources ( FGN, FIFFA, CAF, Sponsors and others) of a total of ONLY 11.9 billion with expenditure requirements far in excess of this income.
Thus, the NFF is always struggling to meet its core obligations. But however, the falsity of the allegations being recklessly thrown about can clearly be demonstrated by the fact that these petitioners (including Dalung) have been going to the media to bandy figures such as 3.2b, 10.5b, 55b, 7.5b, naira $16m, $10.8m, ( and the recent 4b naira from SPIP claims, as moved from NFF, without specific bank accounts and or source of the funds or even where the funds were moved to, as these claims are obviously fictitious), all missing or misappropriated from the NFF.
The objective clearly is to mislead the general public and, indeed, the Government to believe their concocted claims and tarnish the NFF reputation, as these sums never existed at the NFF.
(13) The NFF have petitioned the office of the AGF, especially over the SPIP obvious bias against NFF. The DPP had dully requested for the transfer of files from SPIP to his office for an independent review.
The SPIP is still yet to comply because, we believe, the SPIP is aware of the fact that once an independent review is carried out the truth would emerge to prove that all the actions of SPIP are malicious, false and in connivance with the former minister of sports to ensure they drag the NFF into the mud.
(14) The consequences of the foregoing deliberate actions and clear persecution of the targeted NFF leaders has resulted in damaging the entire brand of Nigeria football and had clearly set back all the progress made prior to 2018 world cup. In particular the progress and development of football in Nigeria, from both the technical and commercial perspectives, have been stagnated, threatened and put in absolute Jeopardy due to these manufactured issues and, therefore, the need for an urgent intervention to redress the situation.
(15) We therefore wish to formally invite the D-G for his intervention as the implication of what is going on would have far-reaching negative effects from the social-economic perspective and, which might lead to security threat, should the football industry be destroyed in Nigeria, looking at the number of youths that will be cast off Jobs, as well as the fact that football is the number 1 unifying factor in Nigeria and thus IMPORTANT NATIONAL ASSET to be protected.
(16) To clearly clarify the issues, we are pleased to attach herewith a 35 page comprehensive brief of all the issues and what has actually transpired from 2015 ( when Dalung was appointed minister of sports) to date,
The brief also details all the efforts made by the minister since 2015 to tag the NFF as corrupt with the sole objective to use the false allegation as basis to demand removal of the NFF leaders from office.
We believe this ongoing happenings as nothing but a deliberate and malicious persecution of the targeted NFF leaders for the sole objective to engineer their removal from office, having failed to achieve same through the ballot box.
In conclusion, and in line with facts set out in the attached 35 page comprehensive brief, our prayers with respect to the intervention request are: –
(a) The Immediate withdrawals of all court matters and transfer of all the files to the office of the AGF for an INDEPENDENT REVIEW.
(b) The immediate consolidation of all petitions from the investigative agencies ( EFCC, ICPC, SPIP, POLICE, DSS) for an independent and unbiased review by either the office of the AGF and or the DSS.
It is on record that, the entire petitions against the NFF are the same by the same group and spread across all the agencies by the opposition group to NFF aided by Dalung (forum shopping for indictment against the targeted 5 NFF officials)
( c) A clear directive to all the investigative agencies to stay away from football matters ( accept if a prima facie case is established and in the matters of FIFA or Sponsors funds, the owners of the fund i.e. FIFA or the sponsors duly complains to them) as football has its internal mechanism to deal with any issues including its Ethics committee for both NFF and FIFA.
(d) The immediate signing into law of the NFF bill that has been passed by the National Assembly, as this is the only way to ensure sanity and order within the football industry in Nigeria and guarantee its sustainable growth in line to FIFA objectives.
We hope sir, you will find the foregoing in order and we remain at your disposal to provide any further clarification, explanation and or documents you may require concerning any matter herein.
Thank you and accept the compliments of our sporting regards.
AMAJU MELVIN PINNICK
president Nigeria Football Federation(NFF) 1st Vice President, Confederation of African Football(CAF) President (AFCON), Member, FIFA competitions organizing committee.
Cc: COS Presidency, Abuja. The Honorable Attorney General & Minister of Justice, Abuja.