A Federal High Court in Abuja has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, President, Amaju Pinnick and four other officials of the football body over alleged $8.4 million fraud.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu issued the order of arrest following the refusal of Pinnick and others to appear in court to answer to the charges of misappropriation of funds belonging to NFF.
Apart from Pinnick, other defendants whose arrests were ordered by the judge include, NFF Secretary, Sunusi Mohammed; the 1st Vice-President, Seyi Akinwumi; the 2nd Vice-President, Shehu Dikko and an Executive member, Yusuff Fresh.
Following the absence of Pinnick and others to appear in court, the prosecuting lawyer, Celcius Ukpong, orally applied for their arrest, a request the judge granted.
The Federal Government had through the Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property, filed 17 counts, marked FHC/ABJ/CR/93/2019, before the court, in which it accused 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.
The defendants were also accused of moving dishonestly and intentionally the sum of about N4bn belonging to the NFF without the consent of the NFF, Punch reports.
FCMB excites Nigerians at COPA Lagos Beach Soccer tournament
The 2019 edition of the COPA Lagos Beach Soccer Tournament, sponsored by First City Monument Bank (FCMB) came to an exciting end on Sunday, November 3, with a commitment by the Bank to sustain its support to initiatives that promote youths, sports and overall national development. This marks the eighth consecutive year that FCMB has sponsored the tournament.
The assurance was given by the Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Bank, Mr. Adam Nuru, at the closing ceremony. According to him, the Bank’s intervention in the area of sports using COPA as a vehicle is aimed at developing the minds, body and abilities of the populace, especially youths to contribute significantly to the growth of the country’s sports and tourism sectors.
The FCMB MD said, “the COPA Lagos Beach soccer tournament provides a platform to bring our customers, Nigerians, soccer fans, families, local and international soccer beach players and other stakeholders together in an atmosphere of relaxation, excitement and bonding, very important factors for healthy living and nation building. This tournament has become one of the most exciting events towards the end of every year. We will continue to remain a strong supporter of initiatives that will create opportunities and equip our youths for a bright future’’, Mr. Nuru, said.
The 3-day soccer, music and other entertainment fiesta, organised by Kinetic Sports Limited, was held at Eko Atlantic Beach, Victoria Island, Lagos and featured the national beach soccer teams of Nigeria, Brazil, Senegal and England. There was also a Club Challenge involving three Nigerian Clubs, namely Pepsi Football Academy, Kebbi Beach Soccer Club, Gidi Sharks of Lagos and Ghana-based Sunset Sports Club. In the national teams’ category, Senegal emerged champions after winning all three matches to secure nine points. Nigeria came second with six points, Brazil was third with three points, while England was fourth with no point. In the club challenge, Sunset Stars of Keta, Ghana, took home the trophy. The Most Valuable Player of the tournament was Lansana Diassy of Senegal.
Also speaking on the tournament, the Group Head, Corporate Affairs, FCMB, Mr. Diran Olojo, stated that, ‘’beach Soccer has become more popular in Nigeria, riding on the Copa Lagos tournament. We believe that our sponsorship of the event in the last eight years, has helped to raise the profile of the game going by the large turnout of spectators and dignitaries that watched the football matches and participated in other lifestyle events associated with it’’.
Apart from the excitement FCMB built around the football matches, which went a long way to make the tournament fun-filled and memorable, spectators and other guests had the opportunity to experience the unique banking services of the Bank. The fan zone of FCMB was a beehive of activities with various games and rewards for winners, courtesy of the Bank. There was a music concert organised by FCMB that featured popular hip-hop musician, Mayorkun (real name Adewale Emmanuel), and other top-rated entertainers.
Commenting on this year’s tournament, Governor Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos state, expressed excitement at the growing status of beach soccer in Nigeria and the support provided by corporate bodies like FCMB.
Also speaking, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Kinetic Sports, Mr. Sola Aiyepeku, commended FCMB for its role in the promotion of sports development. He noted that the involvement of FCMB over the years in COPA Lagos has made the tournament more glamorous.
FCMB has consistently supported sporting activities that have wide appeal across demographic and socio-economic classes in line with its core values as a simple, reliable and helpful financial institution.
For more information about FCMB, please visit www.fcmb.com.
See pictures from the event below:
Messi, Ronaldo, Van Dijk, others battle for 2019 Ballon d’Or award
Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk have been named in a 30-man shortlist for the 2019 Ballon d’Or.
The trio were among the nominees revealed by France Football on Monday evening.
Also in the list are premier League stars Sergio Aguero, Sadio Mane and Hugo Lloris.
They were joined by Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and Ajax’s former Southampton schemer Dusan Tadic.
Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold have also been included in the 30-strong list, as have Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre terStegen and Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek.
There is a place too for Paris St Germain’s World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe.
Also included are Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva, Spurs striker Son Heung-min and Bayern Munich’s Poland international frontman Robert Lewandowski.
Five-times winner Cristiano Ronaldo is also included on the list, as is his former Real Madrid team-mate Karim Benzema and current club colleague Matthijs de Ligt.
Liverpool pair Alisson Becker and Georginio Wijnaldum join fellow Champions League winner Mane among the candidates.
Sadio Mane, Sergio Aguero, Frenkie de Jong, Hugo Lloris, Dusan Tadic, Kylian Mbappe, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Donny van de Beek, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alisson Becker, Matthijs de Ligt, Karim Benzema, Georginio Wijnaldum, Virgil van Dijk, Bernardo Silva, Heung-min Son, Robert Lewandowski, Roberto Firmino, Lionel Messi, Riyad Mahrez, Kevin de Bruyne, Kalidou Koulibaly, Antoine Griezmann, Mohamed Salah, Eden Hazard, Marquinhos, Raheem Sterling, Joao Felix.
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