Former NFF officials seek for FIFA protection in corruption charges against them

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Four old executives of Nigeria Football Federation are currently locked in a legal battle with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), over a right of prosecution by the nation’s anti graft body.

The four former executives are currently facing corruption charges and have been taken to court  by EFCC.

The four alleged criminals  however are challenging EFCC litigation action asking it to be quashed on the ground that it (EFCC) had no legality.

The anti-graft agency however has  challenged the  application brought against it before a Federal High Court, Abuja by the four, in which they are seeking  to quash the  corruption charges filed against them by the anti-graft agency.

The quartet of Sani Lulu Abdulahi; Amanze Uchegbulam; Dr. Bolaji Ojo-Oba and Taiwo Ogunjobi, who also challenged the court’s jurisdiction in another application, are originally standing trial before Justice Donatus Okorowa on a seven count charge bordering on using their offices to confer unfair advantage on themselves, defrauding the federal government of over N1.3 billion and $2 million and also unlawfully issuing 1,263 tickets as complimentary offers to friends, associates, political support groups and family members, resulting in breach of trust and abuse of office.

Besides, the accused persons were also alleged to have endangered nation’s credibility by booking  illegal Hotel for nation’s offficials in the last world cup in South Africa.

They allegedly booked a less influential Hampshire Hotel, South Africa, being a cheap, substandard, unbefitting and an unlisted hotel among the approved list of hotels by the Federation of International Football Association, FIFA, for lodging by participating teams from Nigeria  and caused the Federal Government to pay a fine to the tune of $125,000 for a breach of contract to the hotel after FIFA rejeted it.

The former NFF officials, through their counsel, S. I Ameh, SAN, had challenged EFCC”s  legality to challenge them in the crime claiming  that it is only the world body, FIFA that has jurisdiction to prosecute them. All other defence counsel aligned with the position of Ameh.

However, prosecution counsel, Olasupo Ashaolu, SAN, at the resumed hearing of the case, yesterday opposed the two applications with a 22- paragraph counter- affidavit praying the court to discountenance the applications of all the defence counsel on the ground that they lack merit.