Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have come out a strong rebuttal of widespread reports that the soccer governing body’s president, Amaju Melvin Pinnick is set to be prosecuted by the federal government.
Footballlive.ng gathered that officials at The Glasshouse also stated that there is no iota of truth in reports that President Mohammadu Buhari has ordered that Pinnick be prosecuted.
A strongly worded press release rolled out by the NFF’s information department on Saturday described as outright falsehood news claiming that President Buhari has directed that Pinnick should be prosecuted.
Also declared false and misleading was part of the report attributed to an unnamed sports writer alleging that Pinnick is under investigation by some of Nigeria’s anti-graft agencies and that the NFF supremo has been hit with a travel ban to prevent him leaving the country.
The NFF’s statement rad in part: “The attention of the Nigeria Football Federation has been drawn to a news item circulating in a section of the media saying a directive has been issued by President Muhammadu Buhari that the President of NFF, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick be prosecuted and that Pinnick has also been issued with a travel ban.
“The report is completely unfounded and only a product of the writer’s imagination. (Pinnick), who is also 1st Vice President of Confederation of African Football, has not received any such message from any agencies mentioned by the writer and has also never been placed on travel ban.
“Mr. Pinnick was in Accra, Ghana on Friday, 4th January 2019 for a meeting with NFF and CAF partners AITEO and returned to Nigeria the same day. He has been going about his lawful official and private activities unhindered.
“The NFF published its audited account in two national newspapers on Thursday, 20th December 2018 and in another on Tuesday, 25th December 2018.
“Anyone interested in the Federation’s financial transactions can refer to those pages.
“All incomes into the NFF from the Federal Government, FIFA and CAF from 2014 till now have been correctly recorded and reflected in our accounts.
“The NFF received nothing like the N59 Billion that the fake news reporters have been hawking. It is laughable.
“Before appointment into FIFA committees, Mr. Amaju and the two Nigerians in there passed rigorous integrity and eligibility tests. FIFA and CAF have not reported to anyone that their money is missing, and both organizations have been doing auditing of monies given to the NFF.
“Two years ago, FIFA handed the NFF a clean bill of health on financial management. Our accounts are audited by the same company that audits FIFA – PriceWaterHouse Coopers.
“Our lawyers will take up the matter of the fake news item with the newspaper company that first published it in its online edition. But we urge other media companies and outlets to be painstaking in verification of their news items.
“We also urge our sponsors and partners, football stakeholders in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large, and other media institutions to disregard the said news report.
“It’s another attempt by the mob against the NFF to tarnish the image of the Federation and its leadership for whatever gains.”