Court fixes 28 May for Arraignment
Indicted officials might get substituted court summon
48 hours after SPIP another trouble Awaits Pinnick,Sanusi
By Sylvanus Ofekun
The Chairman of the League Management Company LMC and the second vice president of the Nigeria Football Federation NFF,Mallam Shehu Dikko has explained the reason behind the delay in paying Super Eagles Coach,Gernot Rohr, claiming sponsors have been left embarrassed by negative reports and interference from government agencies which he says is blighting the football authority.
Currently,top officials of the NFF have been charged to Court by two anti corruption Government Agencies,the Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFCC and the Special Presidential Panel on the Recovery of Government Properties SPIP.
In an interview with the BBC Sports,Dikko stated that the issues are short term and admits Gernot Rohr has only received a portion of his salary for 2019.
“As we speak all our coaches have not received their salary on time, but coach Gernot Rohr has now been paid until March,” Dikko told BBC Sport.
“It’s only a short-term issue because our sponsors (Aiteo) that we sourced to pay the coach have always fulfilled their contractual obligations.
“Since 2017, when we signed this deal, there has not been any issue or delay, and sometimes he [Rohr] was paid upfront by this sponsor.
“Unfortunately, the sponsors are not happy about the negative happenings and it’s taken its toll on the NFF financial inflow.
“We had written to the coach to explain all these challenges leading to salary delays and he
understands,” Dikko added.
As the NFF, who receive direct funding from government, strive to fix the financial issues, Dikko believes a previous arrangement will help both officials and players avoid a dispute ahead of their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations campaign.
The Federal Government through the SPIP had filed charges of corruption against the leadership NFF (Amaju Melvin Pinnick, Seyi Akinwunmi, Shehu Dikko, Ahmed Fresh and Mohammed Sanusi).
The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property led by Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, filed a suit at the federal High Court in Abuja,over an alleged misappropriation of $8,400 said to have been paid by FIFA to the NFF.
In a 17-count charge, marked, FHC/ABJ/CR/93/2019, filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja, the money was said to have been paid by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to the NFF as appearance fees in the group stage of the Russia 2018 World Cup.
The charge, filed by SPIRPP on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, was signed by Dr Celsius Ukpong.The prosecution accused the defendants of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, theft, criminal misappropriation in respect of their handling of the $8,400 and N4bn belonging to the NFF.The offences were said to be contrary to and punishable under various provisions of the Penal Code (Cap 105) LFN.
An allegation the NFF denied.
Only Monday the NFF failed to stop the trial when a federal high court in Abuja ruled that the SPIP have the powers to arraign the indicted NFF officials in court.
The Abuja division of the Federal High Court has fixed May 28 for the trial of the President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr Amaju Pinnick, and four others allegedly involved in the misappropriation of $8,400 and N4 billion belonging to the NFF.
Justice Folashade Giwa fixed the date after the case file was assigned to her by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Kafarati.
Counsel to the SPIP Celsius Ukpong, has expressed difficulty in serving the process on the defendants,stating that he might that the indicted officials have being so elusive.Inside sources at the SPIP told our correspondent that the operatives of the panel might adopt substituted means of service.
Further check reveals that some officials indicted still have another date in court 48 hours after the SPIP arraignment.
the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had dragged the NFF President Amaju Pinnick,the Sectary Sanusi Mohammed and 3 others on five counts of criminal conspiracy, breach of trust and misappropriation.
The case will heard on May 30th.