International

Graft case stalls against Nigeria football bosses

2019-09-26 18:51
Nigeria (TEAMtalk)

Abuja - A high-profile corruption case against Nigeria's football association boss and four top officials teetered close to collapse on Thursday after the anti-graft agency prosecuting them was disbanded.

Nigeria Football Federation boss Amaju Pinnick and his colleagues face a 17-count charge that includes allegations of embezzling $8.4 million paid by FIFA to Nigeria for their participation in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The case was already adjourned in July after the defendants failed to appear in court - leading judge Ijeoma Ojukwu to order arrest warrants for some of the federation officials.

At a fresh hearing on Thursday, the judge was forced to postpone the case once again to November 5 after the government last week dissolved the anti-corruption agency prosecuting the case over its own graft scandal.

Pinnick and the other officials were not present in court.

The judge said she could have dropped the entire case if they had been in attendance.

She ordered that they must attend the next hearing in November.

The latest setback in the case came after authorities this month seized a dozen properties from senior officials of Nigeria's top football body, including Pinnick, in a fresh corruption probe.

Anti-graft agents took over 12 properties - half belonging to Pinnick, including a property in London - in the latest investigation to target senior football bosses.

Pinnick remains at the helm of Nigerian football's governing body.

He was sacked as vice president of the African Football Confederation (CAF) in July.

 

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