EFCC Grills Ajayi over Corruption Allegations against NFF Board

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Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) has quizzed the Chairman of Ondo State Football Federation, Dele Ajayi and several high ranking officials of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) over allegations of stealing of funds at the Glass House.

Ajayi, a former member of the NFF board, had last week alleged that the football federation lacked financial transparency as a consequence of mismanagement of the board led by Amaju Pinnick.

He also alleged that $3million of the money, which FIFA paid Nigeria for participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, was not remitted into the federation bank account.

It was on the strength of the allegation of the systemic ills in the football house by Ajayi, coupled with a petition in May last year, by former Technical Director of NFF, James Peters, raising dust about monumental stealing in NFF, that prompted EFCC to invite the officers to its headquarters in Abuja.

They were called to substantiate on the allegations of mismanagement of funds against Pinnick; the General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi; the First Vice President, Seyi Akinwumi; the Second Vice President, Shehu Dikko and a member of the Executive Committee, Ahmed “Fresh” Yusuf. NFF had earlier attempted to discredit Ajayi’s allegation as ranting of a disgruntled person spreading “Beer Parlour” rumours.

Some of those questioned by the anti-graft agency were the suspended Head of Marketing of NFF, Idris Adama, Technical Director, Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme, and Head, Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL), Aisha Falode.

The EFFC has also invited Ibrahim Gusau, Sharif Inuwa, Babagana Kalli, Felix Agwu, Suleiman Kwande, Musa Duhu, Mohammed Alkali and Chidi Okenwa.

Pinnick and Dikko, both presently in London with the Minister of Sport Solomon Dalung, negotiating a new deal with Nike, are also scheduled to visit EFFC at a latter day.

The searchlight has been beamed on the NFF after Dalung accused the board failing to render proper statement for how it expended the N1.5 billion it was granted by government for the World Cup campaign.

A Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP) headed Okoi Obono Obla is also said to be carrying out a probe into the finances of the NFF.