*It is God’s doing. 8 years prosecution that turned to persecution
By Oluwole Francis
Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, Tuesday, set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja delivered on 22nd February, 2016 by Justice E. S. Chukwu which dismissed a ‘no-case-submission’ filed by Sani Abdullahi Lulu, the former President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in the corruption charge brought against him and three others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Justice Ahmad Belgore in his judgment, said: “This appeal has merit and the judgment of the Federal High Court, delivered on the 22nd February, 2016 is hereby set aside and the appellant, Sani Abdullahi Lulu, discharged and acquitted.”
Justice Belgore said the case was an appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court, Maitama Division delivered by Justice E.S. Chukwu wherein the Appellants suit of a ‘no-case-submission’ was dismissed on the ground that the defendants were bound by the Public Procurement Act (PPA) and as such should defend themselves in the charges levelled against them by the EFCC.
Lulu and three others, Amanze Uchegbulam, a former first vice president of NFF; Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi, a former executive committee member and NFF former Secretary-General, Dr. Bolaji Ojo-Oba were arraigned on 6th September, 2010, for alleged misappropriation of funds without giving proper accounts of how the money was spent during the South Africa 2010 World Cup.
Lulu and his co-accused persons among other things were also accused of flouting due process in the purchase of two Marcopolo buses for the national teams.
While, the appeals of Amanze Uchegbulam and Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi, Sani Lulu’s co accused persons are still pending at the Court Appeal, the fourth accused person, Dr Bolaji Ojo-Oba, erstwhile general secretary of NFF, had earlier been discharged and acquitted by the Court of Appeal
Speaking in Abuja after the judgement, the former NFF President, Lulu thanked God for taking away the load of problems from him for the period of eight years during which the prosecution became persecution.
According to him, this is a very great day for me and my family. For the past eight years we have gotten through herculean task of bearing this load of problems which I have gone through. I give glory to God.
“God has done it, He has been doing it and He will continue to do it for us. I am happy that I finally got off that burden. God has led us and I thank Nigerians for the support I got from them in the last eight years.
“It is quite enormous. I am still celebrating. I have learnt so many lessons from this and I think that, it will be positive to me.”