Saturday, January 5, 2019 5:25 pm
The President of the Nigerian Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick has said he is not aware that the Federal Government had placed him on travel ban over alleged multi-billion naira scam in the football body.
An online newspaper had reported that the Presidential investigative panel headed by Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, had placed Pinnick on a travel ban based on a preliminary report on investigation of the finances of the football body which has already being presented to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was also said to have addressed a report on the NFF to Mr President detailing the outcome of their investigations which tallied with what Obono-Obla’s panel had submitted to the President.
According to the report, EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu had in his six-page report informed Buhari that the anti-graft agency had investigated and prosecuted the Director, Finance and Administration, Christopher Andekin; Head, Finance and Administration, NFF, Jafaru Mamzah and a cashier with the Finance and Administration department of the NFF, Rajan Zaka over fraudulent dealings in financial payments from Federation of International Football Associations and Confederation of African Football to NFF between 2014 and 2016
But while reacting to the story, Pinnick, on his twitter handle on Saturday said he is not aware of the travel ban as he recently and intending prosecution.
The NFF Chairman noted that contrary to the claim that he has been banned from travelling, he made a trip to Accra, Ghana yesterday for a meeting between the Nigeria Football Federation and CAF partners, AITEO. He added that he also have official engagements coming up in Senegal.
“In other words; no such ban is in place and no security agency has gotten in touch,” he said.
On the allegation of fraud in the management of NFF funds, Pinnick said the Federation published its audited accounts in ThisDay Newspapers and Daily Trust on Thursday the 20th of December, 2018 and on Tuesday the 25th of December, 2018 in The Vanguard Newspapers.
“ In effect, our finances are open for anyone to see. All incomes from the Federal Government, FIFA and CAF, since 2014 are reflected. Before my appointment into the FIFA committees, I had to pass through intense integrity and eligibility tests. I was not found wanting. Two years ago, FIFA handed NFF a clean bill of health in our financial management. Our accounts are audited by PwC.
“The same firm that audits FIFA. So it is quite laughable whenever these stories come out. And they come out, without fail, regularly, and from the same sources. Well, I’ll be talking to my lawyers to see what legal redress I can get, but it would be nice if our media houses investigated these things before publishing. I might not know every journalist in Nigeria, but I do know a few in just about every media house in the country. When these unfounded stories hit, it’s our football that suffers.
“Sponsors and perspective sponsors become wary of and about doing business with us. Surely we can be responsible about our reports? I’m hoping the more responsible media outlets will disregard these reports while assuring our partners and prospective partners that we are serious about taking our football upwards,” he concluded.