Justice E. S. Chukwu of the federal high court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, Monday dismissed a “no-case-submission” filed by Sani Lulu, a former president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), in the corruption charge brought against him and three others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
According to a statement released on Tuesday by Wilson Uwujaren, head, media and publicity of EFCC, others involved in the case are Amanze Uchegbulam, former first vice president of NFF; Taiwo Ogunjobi, former executive committee member; and Bolaji Ojo-Oba, NFF former secretary-general.
The quarter were arraigned on September 6, 2010, for allegedly misappropriating over N1.5billion released by the federal government to the NFF without giving proper accounts of how the money was spent during the South Africa 2010 World Cup.
“They were explicitly accused of siphoning about $125,000 through shoddy hotel bookings in South Africa during the 2010 World Cup, $250,000 lost as a result of booking the wrong airline for the trip, $400,000 allegedly expended on the Nigeria/Colombia friendly match and $236, 000 which vanished from the coffers of the Glass House in 2009,” the statement said.
“Lulu and his co-accused, among other things, were also accused of flouting due process in the purchase of two Marcopolo buses for the national teams, as well as sharing of N185 million amongst state chairmen of the Nigerian Football Association (NFA) in their futile bid to frustrate their ouster from the football house.
“The accused persons have since their arraignment employed all means known to law to frustrate their trial as they jointly filed a ‘no case submission’ through their lawyers, but was strongly opposed by counsel to EFCC, Titus O. Ashaolu (SAN).”
The statement quoted Justice Chukwu as dismissing the application, saying the defendants were bound by the Public Procurement Act (PPA) and as such should defend themselves in the charges levelled against them by the EFCC. “The NFF statue is not an Act of the National Assembly but it must be subject to the laws of Nigeria.
This is particularly in a case where the money being expended is tax payers’ money and not one of a limited liability company,” Chukwu was quoted as saying. “The provision of Section 60 of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) covers NFF and having said that, it followed that all the defendants are bound by the provision of the PPA.” The case has been adjourned to March 9, 2016 for the accused persons to open their defence.