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Nigeria Football Fraud: How communiqué did not reflect discourse

Solomon Dalung and Amaju Pinnick…new terrains for war set already

*No audit report for the last two years

*Immediate audit of allowances for Falcons, Eagles on

By Olajide Fashikun

With the unexpected vituperations from the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, at the Annual General Assembly (AGA) of the bankrupt Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) led by Mr Amaju Pinnick, what was not clear to the members and watchers was the real reasons behind the tough stance of the minister.

Amaju Pinnick at the 2016 ANA of the NFF…he refused to greet Dalung after reading the acidic speech

Government has been so peeved with the NFF goons for a long time. At a point, the ICPC was instructed to invade the Glass House whereupon some files were taken away from the Account department. Some of the staffers of the department had to report and corroborate some of the facts needed but the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) did not give the prosecurial power to the agency. That stalled the prosecution.

EFCC investigation: There are two separate petitions alleging mismanagement of funds against the leadership of the NFF especially the FIFA development grants. There is the allegation that the NFF has a secret account through which the FIFA monies are transferred and spent. The account is reputedly under the firm control of a former NFF President who still run affairs therein as the President General.

EFCC operatives may have new assignments to take in football again

There is no international outing of the national team the former President is not listed to be on. It is on such trips he makes available some of the cash the NFF requires. When he was in office, the monies were in the private account of his vice who surcharged the NFF $1million as COT on the transactions done.

Falcons allowances: However, there was a debate as to making the ministry to pay the Super Falcons and Super Eagles their allowances so that the officials and players can get their monies complete without being short changed. At the last minute, a senior government official overruled that decision saying “give the monies to the NFF. This will be a good opportunity to catch them. After the payment, ask them to bring the full details. Some persons will be caught and we shall prosecute them.”

By Monday (today), a demand for details of the payment will be demanded and a close scrutiny will be undertaken. If any kobo is found to have been unjustifiably taken out of the schedule, then, there are chances arrests will follow.

The two investigations at the EFCC may also be re-activated immediately. The grounds are, the same NFF that does not have monies to pay staffers and players has so much money to hire a chattered flight to Cameroon for N42million and spend over N50million to host the AGA. Implication is that some monies are stashed away somewhere.

PDP logo…where all members of the NFF Executive Committee belong

With the report published that all the members of the NFF belong to the PDP, the opposition party, there is the theory now in the APC ruling government that all the negative vibes coming out of the Glass House consistently may be the result of the PDP chiefs using the NFF which is in their total control to embarrass government.

AGA communiqué: Some of the decisions that had been pre-arranged to be executed by the rubber stamp AGA was the ratification of the suspension of Mr Christopher Green and the expulsion of some of the players of the Super Falcons for protesting for their allowances which the Federal Government eventually intervened and got paid. These decisions were shelved for fears of the backlash.

A third issue is the endorsement of the ambition of Mr Amaju Pinnick for the CAF seat. By the time the minister read his speech declaring open the meeting, the scripters of the communiqué forgot to extract that issue out of the document. At no point was his endorsement discussed but it found its way into the communiqué.

Audit report: Over the years, PriceWaterCooper, an international audit firm used to do the audit of the NFF. They have always managed to do the report which is always presented at the AGA. But for the past two years, there are no records to back up the expenditure profile of the NFF and the firm decided to keep their image intact rather than agree to do the report and be caught napping. They also considered the critical Nigerian media.

For two years, the NFF does not have a semblance of audit report. This informed the deliberate choice of the words of the minister requesting for audit report as a matter of urgency.

Certainly, the next couple of days the storm seems may be gathering into a typhoon for the current managers of Nigerian Football.

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