Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick and four other officials of the football body.
The order of arrest was issued following the refusal of Pinnick and others to appear in court to answer to the charges of alleged misappropriation of funds belonging to the NFF.
Apart from Pinnick, other defendants whose arrests were ordered by the court include NFF Secretary, Sunusi Mohammed; the 1st Vice-President, Seyi Akinwumi; the 2nd Vice-President, Shehu Dikko and an Executive member, Yusuff Fresh.
Like in the earlier proceedings, all the defendants were absent from the court on Monday, a development that prompted the prosecuting counsel, Celcius Ukpong, to make an oral application to the court for their arrest, a request the judge granted.
Recalled that the Federal Government had, through the Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property, filed a 17-count charge, marked FHC/ABJ/CR/93/2019, before the court, accusing the NFF officials of alleged misappropriation of $8,400,000 belonging to the football body.
The money was said to have been paid by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association to the NFF as appearance fees in the group stage of the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
Pinnick as his co-defendants were also accused of, “moving dishonestly and intentionally the sum of about N4 billion” belonging to the NFF without the consent of the NFF.