Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has confirmed that some top officials of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are under investigations, following allegations of shading dealings and mismanagement of funds leveled against them.
Although EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren did not provide details of the ongoing probe, he affirmed that some top shots at The Glasshouse are under the anti-graft agency’s searchlight, and told BBC Sport: “What I can confirm is that officials of the Nigeria Football Federation are being investigated by the agency.”
Independent checks revealed that the latest investigation comes on the back of a separate case brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and an ongoing one by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP).
The EFCC did not elaborate on who they were investigating, but confirmed top officials of the federation are part of the latest probe, but it was also learnt that the inquiry is focusing on money generated from the NFF’s official sponsors, domestic league’s television sponsorship and payments from a former kit supplier for all the national teams.
BBC Sport reported further that the investigation will look at allegations of wrongdoing by the NFF moguls before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil as well as how sponsorship money meant for the development of football in the country has allegedly gone missing.
The probe will also focus on funds provided by federal and state government for friendly matches involving the Super Eagles and the alleged misappropriation of about US$2.7 million from the Financial Assistance Programme of football’s world governing body, Fifa.
In May, the NFF president Amaju Pinnick told the BBC that he and four other top officials were being “victimised” and denied any wrongdoing over the alleged misappropriation of funds case brought by the SPIP for the recovery of public property.
Pinnick told BBC Sport that he was aware of the latest investigation and was seeking further clarification before making a comment, but the NFF and EFCC are also awaiting judgment on a case at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The corruption trial involves three NFF accounts staff – director of finance, Christopher Andekin; head of finance and accounts Jafaru Mamza and Rajan Zaka, a cashier, who have all denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty at their trial for allegedly embezzling $9.5m grants from FIFA and CAF for the development of football in Nigeria.
The EFCC has filed an amendment for Pinnick and NFF general secretary, Muhamed Sanusi to be charged along with the trio already in court in Abuja, but the matter has since been adjourned and no date fixed for ruling, with the two again strenuously denying any wrongdoing.