The Federal Government on Tuesday withdrew the corruption charges instituted against five officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), including its president, Amaju Pinnick.
The four other NFF officials joined as co-defendants in the case are secretary-general, Sunusi Mohammed; 1st vice president, Seyi Akinwumi; 2nd vice president, Shehu Dikko and an executive member, Yusuff Fresh.
The case which was instituted in May 2019 by the now disbanded Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property, involved the alleged misappropriation of the sums of $8.4m and N4bn belonging to the NFF by the five defendants.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu struck out the case on Tuesday after a lawyer from the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Musa, announced the decision of the government to withdraw the case.
But following the removal of the Chairman of SPIP Okoi Obono-Obla, by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), was directed to take over the cases being prosecuted by the panel.
Musa, the prosecuting counsel who appeared in the case on Tuesday, informed the judge that the government decided to withdraw the case in order to review it and decide the appropriate action to be taken on it.
The application for withdrawal was not opposed by defence lawyer, Mohammed Katu.
The disbanded SPIP had in the case marked FHC/ABJ/CR/93/2019 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.