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Nigeria: Pinnick, Others Deny Any Wrong Doing, Waiting for EFCC Invitation

The leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) led by Amaju Melvin Pinnick, has refuted claims of corruption leveled against it and insisted that it has no formal invitation to face any anti-corruption agency.

A former national football coach, James Peters, had last week petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the leadership of the NFF over its financial dealings.

Special Adviser on Media to the Sports Minister, Nneka Ikem Anibeze, followed up with a statement that Pinnick, Shehu Dikko, Seyi Akinwunmi, Ahmed Fresh and Sanusi Mohammed, were being investigated by EFCC based on Peters’ petition.

But in a statement issued yesterday by the Chairman of the Media Committee of the federation, Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande, it said that

it is on record that the NFF under the leadership of Amaju Melvin Pinnick has been the most successful in Nigeria to date in terms accountability and probity.

“Till date, the leadership of the NFF has not been invited by any anti-corruption or indeed, any agency of government to explain the allegations contained in the said petition or even called upon to give an account of its stewardship.

“The NFF wishes to assure the public that, if eventually it is called upon, the leadership would cooperate fully with any agency concerned and give a robust explanation of its financial activities, as the NFF under Amaju Pinnick has entrenched transparency and international best practices as its mantra and has therefore not contravene Laws of the land,” Yahaya-Kwande stressed further.

The NFF Media Committee chief noted that the Financial Derivatives Ltd (FDC) which was wrongly labeled by James Peters in his petition as the conduit which the NFF embezzles money, is one of the major and most credible financial services companies in Nigeria with records of high reputations and integrity. “FDC was not appointed as NFF Financial Advisers by Amaju Pinnick as alleged by the Petitioner but by the NFF Congress, the supreme legislative body of the NFF, pursuant to the provisions of the NFF Statutes, at its 70th Annual General Meeting held in Lagos on November 23rd, 2014.”

In addition to the FDC, two other companies were also appointed at the 70th AGM on November 23rd 2014- they are PricewaterHouseCoopers (PWC) as External Auditors and Bain and Co, as Management Consultants.

“These appointments were made on the recommendations of the Executive Committee and with the sole objective to bring in the world-class professionalism, transparency, integrity and international best practices especially in financial management of the NFF. FDC has been working for the NFF since 2014 with due audited accounts prepared annually as required by Law, thus one wonders how FDC has suddenly become an issue of petition in 2018.”

He added: “It must be put on record that funds from sponsors are not NFF revenues to be paid to revenue accounts but operational funds provided by sponsors for specific purposes such as payments for coaches, competitions, events and other developmental programmes as agreed with the sponsors in each case. The sponsors are fully in control and fully aware of how and when their funds are being applied and for what purpose.

“In addition to the above process, the NFF leadership ensured that at any time it received funds from sponsors, FIFA or CAF, an information Memo is duly sent to the Hon. Minister of Sports to notify the Government of the receipts of the funds, where the funds is domiciled (TSA or Remittal or FDC) and how it is going to be applied, including payment due to any marketing agency.

“Indeed the Minister has praised and or defended the NFF several times before the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for this show of transparency as it’s the first regime of the NFF to duly notify Government of all its sources of funding, receipts and application. There are several representations to the Government (Ministry of Finance and Accountant-General’s Office) by NFF, duly supported by the Hon. Minister of Sports, and National Assembly to completely exempt the NFF from the TSA.

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