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NFF officials arraigned in court over $9.5m FIFA grant

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NFF top officials involved in the alleged mismanagement of $9.5 million grant from the football International governing body; FIFA to Nigeria Football Federation for the prosecution of the Russia 2018 World Cup tournament were arraigned in Court today Tuesday, 30th of April, 2019.

The defendants are Christopher Andekin, NFF director of Administration and Finance; Reagan Zaka, Cashier, and Fadanari Mamza, Head, Finance and Account Department.
They were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a five-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy, breach of trust and misappropriation.

Defence counsel to the accused, Barrister Festus Ukpe, said today that top five NFF officials involved in the case have been charged and arraigned before an Abuja Magistrate court.

Mr. Ukpe, however argued that his clients cannot be arraigned for the same corruption case in two courts at the same time.

Though, the defendant failed to present any documents to show that the NFF officials are facing corruption trials in other court before the Federal High Court.

EFCC had on 23rd April 2019 filed an application for amendment of the charges to include two additional top NFF officials. EFCC thus, prayed before the court for the amendment charge to be part of the proceeding supported by court affidavit 6.

On the other hand, the prosecution counsel, Barrister Steve Odiase claimed the anti-corruption agency are not aware of any court proceeding on the same matter.

He argued that no documents have been forwarded to them in that regards.

But drama ensued when Justice Peter Affen asked Mr Ukpe to present documents showing that the top NFF officials have have been charged or arraigned in another court.

Mr. Ukpe looked confused as he stuttered and failed to present any document to show that his clients have been charged in a magistrate court.

To further defend himself, Ukpe referred to the warrant of arrest (though he couldn’t present the documents) granted by magistrate court to Special Presidential Investigative Panel (SPIP) as an evidence that they have been arraigned in an Abuja Magistrate court.

The High Court then adjourned the case to 30th May, 2019 for NFF to present documents showing that they have been arraigned in another court on the same alleged correction case.

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