NANF alleges cover-up in trial of NFF staff over FIFA’s grant

Wants EFCC to arraign principal officers
The National Association of Nigeria Footballers (NANF) has described as ‘kangaroo’ the on-going trial of three officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over a FIFA grant worth $10.8 million.

The three officials, Christopher Andekin (NFF Director of Administration and Finance), Fadanari Mamza (Head, Finance and Account Department) and Reagan Zaka (Cashier) were arraigned by EFCC at the Federal High Court at Maitama, Abuja, last week for allegedly tampering with $9.5 million and $1.3 million received from FIFA. They are facing charges ranging from criminal conspiracy, breach of trust and misappropriation.

However, NANF President, Harrison Jalla said in a statement made available to The Guardian that the arraignment of the trio of Andekin, Mamza and Zaka over the FIFA grant was a bid to cover up identities of the principal officers who allegedly diverted the funds.

He said: “The arraignment of three staffers of the NFF on October 18, while shielding principal officers like Amaju Pinnick, Shehu Dikko, Mohammed Sanusi and Ahmed Yusuf Fresh is a show of shame. The several petitions flooding the EFCC over alleged embezzlement, diversion and looting of the NFF treasury are well researched petitions by football stakeholders that can’s be smoothened over by any connivance or manipulation of the process.

“The EFCC should take a cue from tiny Sierra Leone Anti-Corruption Agency, who is daring the corruption infested FIFA to cleanse football of corruption in Sierra Leone. If before the next adjourned date of Nov 28 reasonable effort is not made by the EFCC to arraign the above-named principal officers, the NANF shall initiate judicial process to seek a mandamus order to compel them (EFCC) to do the needful,” Jalla stated.

According to reports, Andekin was able to manoeuvre $1.3 million of the money to an account with Zenith Bank, while Zaka and Mamza diverted $7.2 million and $2.3 million of the FIFA grant.