FIFA grant: Court dismisses EFCC’s application to join Pinnick, Sanusi

Amaju Pinnick

An FCT High Court, Maitama, has dismissed an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to join the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, and Secretary-General, Mohammed Sanusi, in the alleged misappropriation of $9.5 million FIFA grant.

Justice Peter Affen, in his ruling on Thursday, held that it would amount to abuse of court processes to join the duo after they were acquitted of similar charge at the Federal High Court, Abuja division.

He said Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court in Abuja had earlier acquitted Pinnick and Sanusi.

The judge added that there was a similar charge before Justice Ojukwu and in line with the provisions of section 355 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, they were acquitted.

The case was adjourned until April 30 for the trial of the other three.

EFCC dragged three NFF officials before the court in an alleged $9.5 million FIFA grant misappropriation before applying on April 30, 2019, to join both Pinnick and Sanusi in the matter as co-defendants.

Those being tried earlier were Christopher Andekin, NFF Director of Administration and Finance; Reagan Zaka, Cashier; and Fadanari Mamza, Head, Finance and Account Department.

The EFCC charged the defendants with five counts bordering on criminal conspiracy, breach of trust and misappropriation.

The EFCC alleged that they conspired between January 8 and 26, 2015 to commit the offence, contrary to Section 97 of Penal Code.

The defendants all pleaded not guilty to the charges.