$8.4m FIFA Grant: AGF Hands off As Court Grants EFCC Request To Bring Amaju, Sanusi into the Matter
By Niyi Busari
The Office of the Attorney General of Federation has (AGF) declared that it has no interest to be a party in the alleged mismanagement of $8.4 million FIFA grant by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), BSNSports.com.ng can report.
The office of the Attorney General was quoted to be interested and be a party to the case, saying that all cases against the federation in other courts must be harmonised into one and brought before a court of competent jurisdiction.
However, earlier on Monday (today) at the FCT High Court, Maitama, it took a different turn as Office of The Attorney General of the Federation denied being a party and interested in the case and declared its withdrawal from the NFF case.
EFCC had filed before the FCT High Court to join the duo, Amaju Pinnick , NFF president and Dr Muhammad Sanusi , General Secretary in the charge but NFF lawyer Festus Ukpe argued that both of them were before a magistrate court for the same charge and therefore will be against the law to try them in two different courts over the same charge.
Justice Peter Affen ruled that the prosecutor has the prerogative to involve anyone to prove their case to a logical conclusion and approved the withdrawal of the office of the AGF because according to him, the office of the AGF is not suppose to be in court in a matter that has to do with amendment.
The court in its wisdom then said the defendant (NFF) counsel, Mr Festus Ukpe cannot stop the prosecutor (EFCC) counsel, Barrister Steve Odiase from bringing Amaju Pinnick and Sanusi Mohammed into the matter.
The case is then adjourned to 20th February, 2020 for Ruling.
Those standing trial earlier before the court are Christopher Andekin, NFF Director of Administration and Finance , Reagan Zaka , Cashier and Fadanari Mamza, Head , Finance and Account Department.
They were dragged to the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on five counts of criminal conspiracy , breach of trust and misappropriation.
The EFCC , through its counsel , Mr Steve Odiase told the court that the three defendants conspired between January 8 and January 26 , 2015 , to commit the offences, contrary to Section 97 of Penal Code .
Odiase alleged that Andekin was entrusted with money meant for the development of football in Nigeria , a grant from the Federation of International Football Association .
He said that Andekin however fraudulently diverted 1 .3 million dollars from the NFF domiciliary account with Zenith Bank , an act that is contrary to section 311 of the Penal Code .
He further alleged that Zaka on his part, fraudulently diverted 8.4million dollars grant from FIFA for development of football in Nigeria while Mamza diverted 2.3 million dollars.
The defendants all pleaded not guilty to the charge .