*You are the most corrupt government agency in Nigeria
These certainly are apparently not the best of times for the leadership of the Amaju Pinnick-led board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) as Minister of Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, insists that the body must face the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegations of misappropriation of over $1m Federation of International Football Associations(FIFA) developmental grants to Nigeria and other funds from the Federal Government.
During the Annual General Meeting of the NFF in Lagos recently, an enraged Dalung who labelled the NFF as the most corrupt government agency in Nigeria had insisted that the Glass House stinks to high heavens and needed thorough cleansing as financial maladministration in the place is worse since the present board came in 2013 which has robbed Nigeria of her presence at the African Cup of Nations twice.
The Minister was reported to have told a group of journalists in Abuja on Monday that all ground works have been concluded for the EFCC to move in and check the books of the NFF.
“The Minister is serious about the NFF probe,” one of his aides told sportswriters in Abuja.
“The Federal Government of President Muhammadu Buhari has zero tolerance for corruption and the Minister has briefed him on the high level of financial and moral decadence in the NFF. We are sure that the EFCC will move into the cases next week.”
Apparently aware of the Minister’s resolve to probe the NFF, the President of the Federation, Amaju Pinnick used the occasion of the Lagos Marathon post race lunch on Saturday to plead for support from the journalists, insisting that the recent negative reports on NFF have driven sponsors away.
“Amaju Pinnick looked sober at the post marathon lunch on Saturday,” one of the editors at the forum said.
“He was literally on his knees begging journalists to stop the negative bashing of the NFF, revealing that most of their sponsors now see the NFF as a leper.”
According to the source, Amaju Pinnick opined that if the bashing continues it may rob the country of the World Cup 2018 ticket even as Nigeria prepares for the epic match against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in September.
In a week that the Supreme Court of Nigeria is likely to announce the date for the final verdict lingering legal battle between the two factions of the NFF coupled with the outrage over last week’s FIFA ban on factional President, Ambassador Chris Giwa and four his board, the Amaju-led board may have bitten more than they can chew.
Yet, they have a date to keep with the House of Representatives committee on Sports for some inquisitions against them. Above all, the organisation’s staffers are for the worst time ever so ill-motivated by a long stretch of non payment of salaries and allowances.