President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, and his lieutenants have bragged they will stop the corruption trial brought against them.
Pinnick, NFF vice-presidents Seyi Akinwunmi and Shehu Dikko, executive committee member Ahmed Yusuf ‘Fresh’ as well as general secretary Mohammed Sanusi have been charged to court for alleged embezzlement of $8.4 million paid to Nigeria for featuring at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, among 16 other charges.
The Federal High Court in Abuja has since ordered a bench warrant against four of the accused officials after they failed to appear before it.
The case has been adjourned till September 26.
However, at a meeting with FA chairmen on the sidelines of the recent Aiteo Cup Final between Kano Pillars and Niger Tornadoes in Kaduna, a rather subdued Pinnick boasted the case will not see the light of day.
“He assured us that he and the other officials will not stand trial,” one of the FA chairmen told SCORENigeria
Despite the Federal Government’s committed fight against corruption in the country, top officials, traditional rulers and politicians have been putting pressure on anti-corruption agency SPIP to drop the case against the NFF chieftains.
The accused officials have also been banking on minister-designates Abubakar Malami and Festus Keyamo, who they enjoy good personal relationships with and are widely regarded as their “powerful backers”, to ensure they are not tried in court.
There are now even rumours that SPIP chairman Okoi Obono-Obla could be sacked on account of his spirited efforts to clean “The NFF House of Corruption”.
After a thorough investigation, his agency has established an air-tight case against the NFF top shots, which will expose how corruption has been enshrined at the football federation.