Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) media officer, Ademola Olajire has declared that the ongoing corruption allegations leveled against some top shots of the body and their potential appearance in court on July 1st will not affect their programme for the Africa Cup of Nations.
In spite of palpable worry and trepidation now hogging Nigerian football, after confirmation emerged on Wednesday that NFF president, Melvin Amaju Pinnick and four other top shots must appear in court to answer to the charges, Olajire insists the Super Eagles’ build-up to AFCON 2019 is still on course and will not be affected in any manner at all.
Pinnick and the other four NFF officials were ordered by Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu to appear at the court in Abuja, where the prosecution lawyer, Celsius Ukpong said the football top shots will face corruption charges.
Ukpong, who is representing Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP), a Nigerian agency for the recovery of public funds and property, said Pinnick will be joined in the July 1st hearing by the NFF’s first vice-president, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi.
Also to appear with them are the second vice-president, Mallam Shehu Dikko, technical committee chairman, Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf (Fresh) and general-secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi.
The charges include failure to declare assets, alleged disappearance of $8.4m paid by the global soccer body, FIFA to Nigeria for participation at the 2014 World Cup and expending funds on international friendlies that do not hold, but Olajire stressed that there is no cause for alarm.
Olajire told BBC Sport: “Our lawyer is handling the matter and the NFF will only make a statement at the appropriate time.
“The NFF is focused on important football matters and the priority is to ensure all our teams succeed.”