A group under the auspices of Arewa Youth Assembly (AYA) has faulted the Okoi Obono-Obla-led Special Presidential Investigative Panel (SPIP) report that indicted Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick on alleged diversion of $8.4m FIFA fund.
The SPIP had indicted Pinnick, NFF first Vice President, Seyi Akinwumi, second Vice President, Shehu Dikko, Secretary General, Mohammed Sanusi and board member, Yusuf Ahmed Fresh over alleged diversion of $8.4 million paid by FIFA to NFF as Brazil 2014 World Cup appearance fee and N4 billion fund belonging to the Federation.
But the Arewa Youth Assembly told sports reporters at a press conference that the SPIP report that allegedly indicted Pinnick and the other NFF officials are “largely untrue, some outright fabrication of falsehood intended to provoke greater depth of ill feelings and promote crisis in NFF”.
Reacting to a paid advertorial on the issue, Speaker, AYA, Malam Mohammed Salihu Danlami told sports writers in Kaduna that, “today our curiosity had been ignited by reports in media against the person of Amaju Pinnick for gross misconduct and abuse of his status about $8.4m FIFA grant and N4billion moved out of NFF account without the consent of the football federation.
“To be candid, we don’t support corruption, any form of embezzlement of public fund. In spite of the collective resolve to battle corruption, every accused person is innocent before the law until proven otherwise. Amaju should be treated with the same guiding principle. This is a collection of slanderous, malicious; mind boggling rumours and a figment of the imagination of cluster of individuals who have refuse to come out of mediocrity and poverty of the mind which has befallen them.
“Usually, it would have been unnecessary for Arewa Youth Assembly to dignify the tissues of lies, deliberate falsehood and non descript narratives dished out by those behind these issues, but for the interest of the same readers whose sensibilities may have been ruffled by that obvious waste of resources in the form of a paid advertorial.
“After our studied decision we found this report of Chief Okoi Obono-Obla to be largely untrue, some outright fabrication of falsehood intended to provoke greater depth of ill feelings and promote crisis in NFF. Amaju Pinnick is not a signatory or in control of NFF account. The roles are exclusively reserved and performed by directors and personnel appointed by FGN from the offices of the Accountant General of the federation and Auditor General of the federation.
“NFF under Pinnick has since 2014, kept true financial records of NFF funds as audited by its external auditors PwC and published in the newspaper. These tantrums and diatribe against Pinnick’s rising leadership profile are the handiwork of known enemies of NFF. These individuals, who went round peddling all manners of unfounded rumours, have foolishly sold out their pay masters when they averred inter alia to pull the hard earn name of Amaju down.”
“No amount of distraction by the incessant accusation of tribalism can deter Amaju Pinnick from performing his constitutional role as the current serving NFF president. He has exhibited competence and character, a man who has placed Nigeria on the world map of sports development”.
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