- Category: Law, Crime & Judiciary
- Published on Saturday, 11 September 2010 09:34
- Written by The Compass
- Hits: 1375
If the four former lords of the Nigerian football house who are facing graft charges are shocked by the turn of events, then they must brace up for more shocks, the Nigerian Compass on Saturday can authoritatively reveal. More schoking revelations are on the way.
Picture: Sani Lulu, former NFF Chairman
Facing grave charges of fraud are former President NFF President, Alhaji Sani Lulu; Head of Technical Department, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi; former Secretary General, Dr. Bolaji Ojo-Oba and former Vice President, Mr. Amanze Uchegbulem. Although they have been granted bail, the foursome are still in prison detention because they could not meet their bail conditions before the Sallah break on Thursday.
The Proof of Evidence to be used against the former bosses of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) shows that they were indicted by their former colleagues and aides.
In the proof of evidence, prepared by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which has dragged the former NFF bosses to court, some key colleagues of the board have made indicting statements against them that will be used in the course of the trial.
The list of those that will testify against them at the court includes the current NFF Chairman, Alhaji Aminu Maigari; the Director General of the National Sports Commission, Dr. Pat Ekeji; and a former member of the Lulu-led NFF board, Barr. Ray Nnaji. Also indicted is a former Director of Sports development, Amos Adamu.
Maigari is listed as the sixth on the list of the witnesses. The proof of evidence on him reads: “He is the chairman of Bauchi sub committee of the under seventeen (U-17) World Cup, a board member of the Nigeria Football Federation, chairman of the Finance Committee and President of the Tenders’ Board Committee.”
The proof continues: “He is going to testify to the effect that during the preparations for the World cup, he was still the chairman of the Finance Committee and that part of his duties as the chairman of the Finance Committee was to monitor and advise the Board on financial activities. That he is not part of the aircraft and hotel accommodation negotiations and also not part of the Freindly matches preparations.
“That he only attended Nigerian Football Federation’s Board meeting upon invitation as he resided in Bauchi. That he is not involved in any expenses during the preparations of the World cup proper. That as a member of the Tenders’ Board committee, he knows that the contract for the supply of two luxurious buses was initially awarded to Messrs Ekene Dili Chukwu Nigeria Limited but later re-awarded to Chief Mike Ume. That the sum borrowed was used to service the Falconets football team and the under-20 football team and congresses and the said sum to be paid back as soon as government grant comes out.”
Adama Idris, on his own part, is described in the proof of evidence thus: “That as an Assistant General Secretary (Marketing) of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), he has the responsibilities to go on out-marketing for increased sponsorship to generate new ideas for football promotions; design and recommend ticketing regulations and implementation...”
It is said of Idris further: “That Nigeria, having qualified for the World cup in South Africa, and based on FIFA regulations, Nigeria was allocated Two Thousand, One Hundred football family tickets to be paid for by NFF as applicable to other participating countries. That the Finance Department under the leadersship of NFF was directed to transfer to FIFA via wire transfer, the sum of $263,000 for 900 CAT 1 tickets at $176,600 CAT 11 tickets at $132 and 600 CAT 111 at $88 each. That these tickets were distributed to all approved organising and sub committees of the NFF by the President Sani Lulu Abdullahi in line with approved list to the Finance Department.
“That out of 2100 tickets, 1263 were complimentary tickets while 837 tickets were sold by the Finance department in line with the directive of the NFF Board and the proceeds amounted to N116,735,616.00, which was accredited to NFF account with Afribank Nigeria Plc. That it was the decision of the NFF Board, headed by Sani Lulu Abdullahi that decided to sell part of the ticket to generate revenue for the NFF and the balance to be distributed as complimentary tickets.”
Hon. Barrister Ray Nnaji is recognised in the proof of evidence as a former Commissioner for Sport in Enuguy State under the administration of Governor Chimaroke Nnamani. The proof of evidence states concerning Nnaji: “He will give evidence against Alhaji Sani Lulu and his Board members. he will further give on ghow Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdullahi, Bolaji Ojo Oba, Amanze Uchegbe Lanre, Obinna Ogba and others conspired to ensure that one Mr Ofor Okenne impersonate Mr Chidi Nwatu. He will also give evidence on how Alhaji Sani Lulu and his cohorts assisted Mr Ofor Okenna to get international passports to foreign countries. He will further tesify that in 2009, FIFA under-17 Mr Ofor Okenna was appointed chairman, Enugu sub seat as Mr Chidi Nwatu whereas he was not. He will give evidence on how Dr. Amos Adamu is a culprit to the said criminal offence and they all gained from their illegal deal. By virtue of his post, he will give evidence on how he was paid for his foreign trip and how the local trip was taken by them for no reason.”
Ekeji, according to the Proof of Evidence will testify that “there should be no change in contract awarded by the NFF without the approval from the NSC. He will also testify to the fact that government appropriated and released N350m to the Commision and the NFA. Being the chairman of the Tenders Board, he will testify on how Mr Ogunjobi signed for the Marcopolo buses.”
Ekeji will also testify on the hotel issue, the failed charter flight, the $125,000 fraud and the stolen $236,000 from the NFF coffers.
Other prosecution witnesses were drawn from the the EFCC, the NFF, and other intelligence agencies.
The four were arraigned by the EFCC last week and were remanded in prison, pending when they meet up their bail conditions.
The First Charge against them reads: “That you Sani Lulu (M), Amanze Ucheegbulem(M), Dr. Bolaji Ojo-Oba (M) and Taiwo Ogunjobi, M, on or about the month of February 2009 in the office of the Nigerian Football Federation in Abuja, within the Abuja judicial division of the Federal High Court, while being Board members of the Nigerian Football Federation, conspired to commit an offence of felony, to wit: refusing to follow due process by not requesting for quotations from suppliers, but rather without legal justification, opted for the emergency procurement procedure in the procurement of 2 Nos Mercedez Benz Irizar buses and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 518(1) and (7) of the Criminal Code Act, cap 38, laws of the Federation, 2004”
According to the EFCC in the following counts 2-4, the four had earlier awarded the contract for the purchase of two Mercedez Benz Marcopolo buses to one CNBC Nigerian Limited at the cost of N99m, paying N82m upfront to the company without going through the tenders' board but ended up accepting from the supplier, the the lower quality Irizar at the same price, while the street value of Irizar is said to be N20m lower.
Count three states that the four approved N82m “as part payment for the 2nos Mercedez Benz Marcopolo buses, over and above the maximun payment limit of 15% on the value of the contract sum as mobilisation to CNBC Nigeria Limited, thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 35 and punishable under Section 58 of the Public Procurment Act No 14, 2007”
The prosecutors in Count Four said that the suspects, while being members of the NFF board “did abuse the authority of your offices with intent to gain, to wit: not buying the particular specification of 2 nos Mercedez Benz Marcopolo buses state in the contract of supply between the Nigerian Football Federation and CNBC Limited but rather opted for the purchase of 2 nos Mercedez Benz Irizar (Century 15500) model buses, a model cheaper and inferior to the Mercedez Benz Marcopolo Buses at the same N99m, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 104 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C.38, Laws of the Federation, 2004”
Beyond the issue of the bus, Lulu and his men will also anwer to the allocation of 1,263 ticket for the World Cup to themselves which was shared according to the EFCC as complimentary to “friends, associates, political support groups and family relations, thereby committed and offence contrary to and punishable under Section 22 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, Cap C.31, Laws of the Federation, 2004”
Count six said that Lulu hired one Tunde Adelakun as a consultant for chartering and hiring of an aircraft to convey the Nigerian National team to South Africa “for the purpose of the 2010 FIFA world cup, without the required notice by publishing express interest to appoint a consultant in two national newspapers and the procurment journal, contrary to Section 44(A) of the Public Procurement Act, punishable under Section 58(5)(A).”
It went further in Count Seven to state that the suspects abused their offices by “corruptly procuring the services of an unbefitting and faulty aircraft from International Air Charter through a consultant, one Tunde Adelakun, at an amount lower than what ought be expended on conveying the team to South Africa”.