By John Chidozie
Nigeria football stakeholder and former president of the Players’ Union (NANPF), Harrison Jalla has revealed the role of a top government official plans in ensuring that the chieftains of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, escape justice, BSNSports.com.ng can report.
Jalla accused the powerful government official of being responsible for the ordeals of the former Special Presidential Investigative Panel (SPIP) for refusing to handover the file of the accused top NFF officials who were under investigation. He added that Barrister Abubakar Musa from the Ministry of Justice played a major role in achieving the orchestrated plan executed by Hon. Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, and Hon. Justice Peter Affen of the FCT High Court in two different two scuttled cases.
This is contained in a statement signed by the former Players’ Union’s president, made available to BSN Sports which reads in parts, “In Nigeria one of the powerful top government official allegedly been induced by top officials of the NFF to shield corruption in Nigeria Football. The serving minister allegedly harassed and set up former chairman of the Special Presidential Investigative Panel (SPIP), Okon Obono Obla for his refusal to hand over the file of top NFF officials under investigation. The minister who is close to the president through one Barrister Abubakar Musa of the federal ministry of Justice bungled prosecutions of NFF top officials before Hon. Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the federal high court Abuja and Hon. Justice Peter Affen of the FCT high court.
Jalla further stated in the statement that he has concluded plans to protect NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, second vice-president, Shehu Dikko, Secretary General, Dr. Sanusi Muhammed from being investigated and prosecuted (if found guilty) in different corruption allegations handled by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). He alleged that he asked the anti-graft agency to handover their file of the ongoing investigation to the DSS, “a top government official is allegedly currently breathing heavily on the neck of ICPC Chairman to hand over ongoing investigation of top NFF officials to DSS. Amaju Pinnick in his several National Television interviews have brazenly called for the intervention of the office of the AGF in criminal matters being investigated by anti-graft agencies who are creation of laws of the land.
Meanwhile, criminal proceedings have been initiated against FIFA president, Gianni Infantino by a special prosecutor looking into dealings between the head of the global soccer body and Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber.
The special prosecutor, Stefan Keller, was appointed last month to review complaints against Infantino and Lauber and others, had found indications of criminal conduct related to their meetings.
In a swift reaction, the Swiss authorities have already seen these clandestine meetings as abuse of public office, breach of official secrecy, assisting offenders and incitement to those acts.
However, same can not be said in Nigeria, where a top government official is allegedly frustrating investigations carried out by anti-graft agency to expose alleged corruption practises by the NFF officials.