We Have Always Maintained Our Innocence At The NFF – Pinnick

 

President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick has said that his team has always maintained its innocence at the NFF. 

Mr Pinnick made this disclosure on Monday when he appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

The NFF President said his team has also always laid its books bare for everyone to see.

His statement comes few days after a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja discharged and acquitted him of charges bordering on fraud to the tune of $8.4 million and N4 billion.

READ ALSO: Court Discharges, Acquits NFF President Pinnick, Four Others Of Corruption Charges

President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr Amaju Pinnick

Pinnick and other chieftains of the NFF were charged on 16 counts of corruption and misappropriation of the said sums from the 2014 FIFA Grant, as well as for conflict of interest and non-declaration of assets, by the defunct Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP), headed by Okon Obono-Obla.

On the recent court victory, Pinnick said: “This is not a personal victory for me and my other board members. It is victory for all of Nigerian football”.

He further stated that he and his team have always published their accounts using some of the best auditing firms in the world.

Pinnick said he was happy that the toxic moments are over, stating that it is now time “to pull and work together, not pull apart”

The NFF President also thanked the government for its continued support for the works of the national football governing body.

He said the cordial relationship between the NFF and the government must be maintained if progress is to be made in sports across all levels.

“The Government is a key partner of Nigerian football and our working relationship with them must be very cordial if we want to make progress,” Pinnick said.

Court Discharges, Acquits NFF President Pinnick, Four Others Of Corruption Charges

Amaju Pinnick

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has discharged and acquitted President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, of charges bordering on fraud to the tune of $8.4 million and N4 billion.

Other chieftains of the NFF who were also discharged of similar offences by the court include; Seyi Akinwunmi (1st Vice President), Shehu Dikko (2nd Vice President), Mohammed Sanusi (General Secretary) and Ahmed Yusuf (Executive Committee member).

The NFF executives were charged on 16 counts of corruption and misappropriation of the said sums from the 2014 FIFA Grant, and conflict of interest and non-declaration of assets, by the defunct Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP), headed by Okon Obono-Obla.

READ ALSO: NPFL: MFM FC, Plateau United Lead Matchday 1 Review

At the court session on Tuesday, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu dismissed the entire case with all 16 charges, and acquitted the NFF chieftains, after counsel representing the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) applied to withdraw the charges.

The AGF took over the case from the office of the SPIP which originally instituted the case against the defendants.

The counsel stated that it could not proceed with the matter as the proof of evidence could not sustain the charges.

Sani Katu, counsel to the defendants applied to the court to dismiss the charges and also discharge and acquit the NFF chieftains.

Justice Ojukwu then ruled that she had no option than to discharge and acquit the defendants on all counts, wondering why the case was brought to the court in the first place.

PHOTOS: ICPC Seals Houses Owned By NFF President Pinnick, Dikko

A photo combination of Mr Amaju Pinnick and Mr Shehu Dikko and their houses placed under investigation by the ICPC.

 

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has sealed the houses of two top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

Those affected are the NFF President, Mr Amaju Pinnick, and the Second Vice President of the nation’s football governing body, Mr Shehu Dikko.

In separate tweets on Friday, the anti-corruption agency announced that it has placed Pinnick’s house in Lagos and that of Dikko in Abuja under investigation.

READ ALSO: Gernot Rohr’s Mother Dies At 97

Although ICPC did not disclose why the properties are being investigated, the tweets were posted with the hashtags ‘Do The Right Thing’ and ‘Integrity Pays’ which indicate corruption allegations.

Mr Pinnick and Mr Dikko, as well as and three other officials of the federation are expected to appear before a Federal High Court in Abuja on September 26 over alleged diversion of FIFA grants.

See photos below:

Pinnick’s house in Lagos.

Dikko’s house in Abuja.


See the tweets below:

#WeRememberSam: NFF Marks 30th Anniversary Of Samuel Okwaraji’s Death

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), on Monday, remembered football star, Samuel Okwaraji and eulogised him, marking the 30th anniversary of his death.

In a tweet on their official NFF said, “It’s been 30 years since this real and true Nigerian Patriot passed on while on duty for the country. Keep resting in peace, Samuel Sochukwuma Okwaraji. #WeRememberSam.”

The group in the tweet also shared an emotion-laden one minute video to pay tribute to Okwaraji.

READ ALSO: Back-To-Back Champion: Quadri Wins Nigeria Table Tennis Open Title

NFF president, Amaju Pinnick in a quote in the video said, “We still feel and respect the labours of our heroes past, and we want to say today, being the 30th year that Late Okwaraji passed on while playing.

“We still feel the sacrifice and patriotism that he showed, playing for this great country. And we have learnt great lessons from that patriot, even as we continue to use his attitude to guide young talents.”

 

Okwaraji was born on May 19, 1964.

Apart from being a professional lawyer, who played for Nigeria, Okwaraji was also a qualified lawyer who had a masters in international law from the Pontifical Lateran University of Rome.

He died August 12, 1989, during the Italia ’90 World Cup qualifying match between Nigeria and Angola at the National Stadium, Surulele, Lagos.

 

I’m Still A Member Of CAF Exco – Pinnick

Pinnick's CAF Victory A Big Success For Nigeria - Dalung
A file photo of Mr Amaju Pinnick.

 

 

President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick says he is still a member of the Executive Committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

He stated this in a statement posted on his verified Twitter handle on Thursday.

Pinnick’s statement was in reaction to his removal as the first Vice President of the African football governing body.

He explained that he was removed after his first tenure expired, in line with Article 22(4) of the CAF statutes.

READ ALSO: Super Eagles Return To Nigeria After 2019 AFCON Campaign

The NFF President noted that the CAF President Ahmad Ahmad did not propose his renewal, adding that he has no negative feeling towards the decision.

He said it was an excellent opportunity to serve as Africa’s number two football administrator and congratulated his successor.

Read Pinnick’s full statement below:

By now, you must have seen an official statement from the events of today’s (Thursday) CAF Congress in Egypt. To reiterate;

The term of the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Vice-Presidents of the Confederation of African Football expires after two years, in line with Article 22(4) of the CAF statutes.

My renewal was not proposed by the CAF President and I’m in total agreement with that decision as well.

I accepted the decision of the President as it aligned with my own views, having considered matters surrounding the administration of African Football which has dovetailed into the Nigerian Football space.

I’m still a member of the CAF Executive Committee though and I’ll continue to work to ensure that football on the continent gets its deserved value.

It has been an excellent opportunity to serve as the Number Two football administrator on the continent and my commitment to the game is perpetual while my support for my colleagues in the Executive Committee remains steadfast.

Hearty congratulations to Omari, Lekja and Danny on their new roles as 1st, 2nd & 3rd Vice-Presidents respectively.

Pinnick Removed As CAF Vice-President

Pinnick

President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick has been removed as the first vice president of the Confederation Of African Football (CAF).

No reason was given for his removal.

The action was taken earlier on Thursday at the executive congress of CAF in Cairo, Egypt.

Pinnick according to BBC Sports was removed by CAF President Ahmad, who on Thursday signed an agreement with FIFA President Gianni to confirm the appointment of FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura as a ‘General Delegate for Africa’.

“It has been an excellent opportunity to serve as the number two football administrator in the entire African continent,” Pinnick said in a statement.

He added that “My commitment to the game is perpetual while my support for my colleagues in the Executive Committee remains steadfast.”

Constant Omari who is the president of Congolese Football Federation has however been picked as the CAF first vice president.

Head of the Morocco football ruling body, Mr Fouzi Lekjja will take the position of the second vice president while South Africa’s Danny Jordan head of the South Africa Football Association is the third vice president.

Pinnick served as the first vice-president of CAF since July 2018.

Buhari Didn’t Order Arrest, Prosecution Of Pinnick – Presidency

The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has explained that President Muhammadu Buhari did not order the arrest and prosecution of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President Amaju Pinnick over alleged fraud.

Shehu in a statement on Sunday said President Buhari has respect for the rule of law and that investigation should be done by law enforcement agencies.

“A press release in circulation in the last 24 hours, to the effect that President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the arrest and prosecution of Amaju Pinnick, the NFF Chairman, is fake news because anyone familiar with the President’s unmitigated and unshakable commitment to the due processes of the law will not make such assumptions of the President.

“The position of the President that allegations of criminal nature should be addressed only by investigation and law enforcement agencies, within the framework of the law has not changed,” the statement read in part.

READ ALSO: President Buhari Will Campaign For All APC Candidates – Presidency

The President’s special adviser also noted that instead of hampering the rule of law, the President will rather allow the law to take its course. According to him, it is not in the nature of President Buhari to the order arrest of anyone.

“It is not in the nature of President Buhari to say go and arrest that man or woman as formed the practice in the past.

“Rather, he allows all allegations of this nature to be addressed using the mechanism of the rule of law even as law enforcement and investigation agencies should not in any way be hampered in performing their duties.

“At the same time, nobody should drop names to seek to influence the course of those investigations.”

NFF Election: Pinnick Vows To Initiate Reforms In Nigeria’s Football

 

President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has vowed to reform football in the country.

Pinnick made the vow on Thursday after he was re-elected for another four-year term.

Shortly after being declared the winner of the election, he gave journalists an insight into his plans.

“First of the things that we want to do is to initiate reforms for our statutes. There are some things that we need to put in our statutes that will reflect reconciliation,” he said.

The NFF boss described his opponents in the election – Aminu Maigari, Taiwo Ogunjobi, and Chinedu Okoye – as his brothers, insisting that there is no winner or loser in the election.

Pinnick polled 34 votes out of a possible 44 to beat Aminu Magari who got eight votes, Taiwo Ogunjobi who got two votes and Chinedu Okoye who did not get any vote.

While promising to work towards peace and reconciliation in the Nigerian football governing body, Pinnick described his victory as a turning point.

“This is a turning point. Like I said, there is no victor there is no vanquished. Everybody is a winner but people should now know that we need to develop football beyond the narrow confines of ethnicity, primitivism, nonchalance, lackadaisical attitude and mediocrity,” he said.

Amaju Pinnick Re-Elected As NFF President

image @NFF Twitter… Amaju Pinnick being congratulated after his victory

 

Mr. Amaju Pinnick has been re-elected as President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

Pinnick won the NFF election, held in Katsina State, by securing 34 votes out of 44 possible votes.

His closest rival Aminu Maigari got eight votes, while Taiwo Ogunjobi secured two votes.

A fourth candidate, Chinedu Okoye did not get any vote.

With the election victory, Pinnick will be returning as NFF boss for another four years.

Okoye, who is the Proprietor of Amateur League Club, Bimo FC had no vote.

The newly elected NFF board will run from 2018 to 2022.

Prior to the election, the nation’s football body has been hit by a serious leadership tussle between factions loyal to Chris Giwa and Amaju Pinnick that lingered for some years.

On July 2, Giwa took over control of the NFF marking the start of a fresh crisis.

This followed a directive from the Minister of Sports and Youths, Solomon Dalung, who asked Mr. Amaju Pinnick to comply with a court order and step aside as President.

But not satisfied with the development, the world football governing body, FIFA, said it recognised Pinnick as NFF leader.

READ ALSOFIFA Only Recognises Pinnick As NFF President – Infantino

FIFA President, Gianni Infantino stated this on July 13, while addressing a press conference in Moscow, Russia.

“Nigeria Football Association has a president, his name is Pinnick,” said Infantino. “We have been already clear about that some time ago.”

“I heard the issue came up again, but the situation is very clear; we have statutes, we have regulations. There can be no interference in the running of the association and for this reason, Pinnick is working here in an official capacity,” he added.

The FIFA president noted that Pinnick was duly elected as NFF President in accordance with the rules of the global body.

He insisted that it is not for any other body to intervene in the matter and warned the Nigerian government that continued interference might lead to sanctions.

 

 

FIFA Only Recognises Pinnick As NFF President – Infantino

FIFA Only Recognises Pinnick As NFF President – Infantino
(File) FIFA president Gianni Infantino speaks during a press conference prior to the Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup football tournament in Moscow. Photo: Alexander NEMENOV / AFP

 

FIFA President Gianni Infantino says the world football governing body only recognises Amaju Pinnick as President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

He made the declaration on Friday while addressing a press conference in Moscow, Russia, following a court order which directed Mr Chris Giwa to take over the leadership of the Nigerian football governing body.

“Nigeria Football Association has a president, his name is Pinnick,” said Infantino. “We have been already clear about that some time ago.”

“I heard the issue came up again, but the situation is very clear; we have statutes, we have regulations. There can be no interference in the running of the association and for this reason, Pinnick is working here in an official capacity,” he added.

READ ALSO: Court Adjourns Case Involving Ex-NFF Chairman Maigari To September

The FIFA president noted that Pinnick was duly elected as NFF President in accordance with the rules of the global body.

He insisted that it is not for any other body to intervene in the matter and warned the Nigerian government that continued interference might lead to sanctions.

“For FIFA, he (Pinnick) is the president elected by the members of the Nigeria football association and that’s the end of the story,” Infantino affirmed.

“If any external body thinks that they can change the situation, then Nigeria would risk being banned like it happened in other countries because we have democratic processes and they just need to be respected.”

L-R: NFF President Mr Amaju Pinnick; FIFA President Gianni Infantino; Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode; FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura; and Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Ahmad Ahmad, at the Government House in Ikeja February 19, 2018.

 

Back in the country, the Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, said the Federal Government has played no role in any of the cases.

He told reporters in Delta State that the crisis has lingered for more than 15 years and urged parties involved in the NFF leadership tussle to settle their issues internally.

Authentic NFF President?

Mr Pinnick has been involved in a serious legal tussle since he assumed office as the NFF President in 2014.

Giwa and some other persons had approached the Federal High Court, Jos, on September 19, 2014, arguing that the Pinnick-led executive was not the authentic NFF executive elected on August 26, 2014.

Following a number of court cases, the Supreme Court set aside the judgement of the Court of Appeal in Jos, Plateau State, on the discontinuation of the case on the leadership tussle in the football body.

The appeal court later held in 2016 that the case could no longer be relisted before the Federal High Court, having been earlier withdrawn by the appellants.

But a five-man panel led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, unanimously set aside the judgment of the appellate court in late April 2018 and sent the case back to the Federal High Court where the trial started in 2014.

June 5, 2018,  Justice M. H. Kurya of the Federal High Court, Jos, held that the NFF election conducted on August 26, 2014, under the leadership of Chris Giwa be given recognition pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed in the case.

He also ruled that the purported ban of the Executive Committee elected on August 26, 2014, from football activities of the NFF was unconstitutional, null and void.

Referring to the ruling in a statement on July 2, the sports minister asked Pinnick to respect the order of the court and step aside as NFF President.

Dalung had attributed the directive to a written notification from the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, requesting him to ensure compliance with the court rulings on the matter.

Hours later, Giwa, who has since insisted that he is the duly elected president of the NFF, arrived at the NFF headquarters amid heavy security operatives to take control of the body.

Mr Chris Giwa with some officials at the NFF Secretariat in Abuja on July 2, 2018. // Twitter – @niyi7busari

 

With FIFA’s intervention, the football community hopes the government would support Pinnick as the authentic NFF President or risk a ban on Nigeria as threatened by Infantino.

CAF Appoints Pinnick As First Vice-President

President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr Amaju Pinnick

 

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has appointed Mr Amaju Pinnick as its 1st Vice-President.

CAF announced the appointment in a statement on its website on Thursday.

“Following the resignation of the 1st Vice-President Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi, CAF President, after consulting the members of the Emergency Committee, appointed Mr. Amaju Melvin PINNICK as 1st Vice-President,” the statement read in part.

CAF added that the decision is “immediately applicable, in accordance with article 27 para. 2 of the Statutes, which will be ratified by the Executive Committee in its session scheduled on the 27 and 28 of September 2018.”

Pinnick who oversaw Nigeria participation at the World Cup as President of the Nigeria Football Federation had suffered a setback while in Russia.

On Monday, July 2, the Minister of Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung, asked Pinnick who has been NFF President since 2014 to obey a court order which required him to step aside as head of the Nigerian football governing body.

READ ALSO: Giwa Takes Control Of NFF As Dalung Asks Pinnick To Obey Court Order

The directive effectively paved way for Mr Chris Giwa, who has been locked in a legal battle over the leadership of the NFF to, take over at the Federation.

Hours after the minister’s statement that Monday, Mr Giwa went to the NFF headquarters in Abuja and took charge amid heavy security.

Mr Giwa had since insisted that he is the duly elected NFF President, a position he went to court in 2014 to prove.

Many believe the development may expose Nigeria to FIFA sanctions as the world football governing body may consider the decision of the court interferance with the running of the football body.

Pinnick, Former Eagles Coaches, Players Attend Channels Kids Cup Final

Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick; former Super Eagles Captain Joseph Yobo; Former Coaches of Super Eagles, Samson Siasia and Austin Eguavoen; Former Super Eagles Midfielder, Mutiu Adepoju and others at the Channels Kids Cup Final at Campos Square on Sunday.

 

Super Eagles Stars were at the Campos Square in Lagos on Sunday to watch Nigerian kids play at the Channels Kids Cup Final.

Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick, former Super Eagles Captain Joseph Yobo and Former Super Eagles Midfielder, Mutiu Adepoju were in attendance to cheer the children.

Also, former Coaches of Super Eagles, Samson Siasia and Austin Eguavoen were in attendance.

READ ALSO: Channels International Kids Cup: Ambode Rewards Top Four Schools With N5m

The final match was between LGEA Central Primary School, Kwara State and Baptist Primary, Osun State

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode opened the match with a ceremonial kick-off.

LGEA Central Primary School, Kwara won the match with 3-1 scoreline.