By Sylvanus Ofekun
There are strong indications that the Attorney General and Minister of Justices,Abubakar Malami SAN is making last minute effort to stop the arraignment of indicted NFF official by the Special Investigative Panel for the Recovery of Government Properties SPIP,thebreakingtimes.com can report.
In a letter dated May 22,2019 and signed on behalf of the Attonery General by Garba Haganawega ,a deputy director in charge of prosecution in the Ministry of Justices and obtained exclusively by thebreakingtimes.com revealed that a directive has been issued to the chairman of the SPIP,Mr.Okoi Obono Obla to hand over the prosecution of the indicted NFF officials to the ministry of Justices.
“I am directed to refer to the above subject matter which is a matter investigated by your panel and a charge filed at the Federal High Court Charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR93/2019 FRN VS AMAJU M PINNICK & 4 ORS officers of the Nigeria Football Federation NFF.In line with judgement of the court of Appeal in Appeal No. CA/A/278/2018 between Tijani Musa Tumsa vs FRN and Anor regarding the capacity of your panel to commence criminal proceeding,I am directed to request you forward the case file to the office of the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation for further action”,the letter reads.
The letter concludes by asking the SPIP chairman to treat the matter with urgency.
The federal government through the SPIP had charged Amaju Pinnick, president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), and four others with alleged misappropriation of $8.4 million belonging to the federation.
The money was said to have been paid by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to the NFF as appearance fees for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Okoi Obono-Obla, the special presidential investigative panel and recovery (SPIP), filed a 17-count charge against the defendants before the federal high court in Abuja.
The accused persons aside Pinnick are Seyi Akinwunmi, 1st vice president, Shehu Dikko, 2nd vice president, Mohammed Sanusi, general secretary and Ahmed Yusuf Fresh, NFF executive member.
The Abuja division of the Federal High Court had fixed May 28 for the trial of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) officials,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.
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