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FG withdraws corruption charges against Pinnick, others
THE Federal High Court, Abuja Division, on Tuesday, struck out the case of fraud brought against the President of the Nigerian Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick.
Premium Times reports that the court decision was made following the federal government application to withdraw the case against Pinnick and others accused of mismanaging money gotten from the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA).
President of the Nigerian Football Federation alongside four others had in May arraigned by the federal government on 17 counts for allegedly diverting the sum of $8.4 million, which was given to the NFF as fees for appearing at the last Russia 2018 World Cup.
The four others include Seyi Akinwumi, NFF’s First Vice President; Shehu Dikko, the second Vice President; Mohammed Sanusi – General Secretary, and Ahmed Yusuf Fresh, an NFF executive member.
They were also alleged to have contravened the law by failing to declare their assets and were arraigned by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP).
Okoi Obono-Obla-led panel that investigated the case has since been dissolved by President Muhammadu Buhari. Obono-Obla himself is also wanted for allegedly forging a WAEC certificate.
Lawyer representing the NFF officials, Mohammed Katu while making his submission said, “We asked that since the prosecution has applied to withdraw the charges, the defendants should be acquitted. The court invoked section 355 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act to withdraw the charges.”
Section 355 quoted empowers the prosecution to withdraw its charges against the defendant where necessary.
However, this trial is separate from that being conducted by the anti-graft agency, EFCC, against Mr Pinnick and others.