EFCC summons 10 NFF officials over funds diversion

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has summoned 10 officials of the Nigeria Football Federation in connection with the diversion of funds and embezzlement of billions of naira by the NFF leadership.

Those invited are Ibrahim Gusau, Sharif Inuwa, Babagana Kalli, Felix Agwu and Suleiman Kwande. Others are Musa Duhu, Ms. Aisha Falode, Mohammed Alkali, Chidi Okenwa and Otunba Sunday Ajayi.

It was gathered that the officials were required to make certain clarifications in the alleged graft involving the NFF president Amaju 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 Yusuf.

The acting EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, confirmed that the officials were at the commission headquarters for the interview on Wednesday.

The EFCC had in a letter dated January 21, 2019, asked the NFF officials to report to its headquarters in Jabi, Abuja, on January 30 (Wednesday).

The summons signed by EFCC’s Director of Operations, Mohammed Abba, and addressed to the NFF president, read in part, “This commission is investigating cases of abuse of office, diversion of public funds, official corruption and stealing, and the need to obtain certain clarifications from the above-mentioned persons has become imperative.

“In view of the foregoing, you are kindly requested to inform and release them to report for an interview with the undersigned through their team leader. This request is made pursuant to Section 38(1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004.”

The investigation of the NFF board followed a petition by a former national team coach, James Peters, on May 4, 2018, alleging what he described as “monumental stealing in NFF”.

Peters in the petition to the EFCC alleged that the NFF board members deposited money outside the official accounts of the federation in the Central Bank and diverted same for fraudulent activities.

He also stated that a private company Mediterranean Sports Limited owned by Dikko was used to collect over 40 per cent of revenue from the numerous sponsors of the football body.

The petitioner, who served as Technical Director with the NFF for many years, also urged the EFCC to investigate the activities of Financial Derivatives Ltd, which he said was being used to “warehouse money outside the official accounts of the NFF in the Central Bank and diverting same for fraudulent activities.”