Nigeria: NFF officials granted bail in $9.5m FIFA grant fraud

An FCT High Court in Maitama, Abuja has adjourned hearing in the case of three Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) officials dragged before the court on allegation of fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to November 27.

The court presided by Justice Peter Affen upheld the administrative bail granted to the three NFF officials, Christopher Andekin (Director of Administration and Finance), Reagan Zaka (Cashier) and Fadanari Mamza (Head, Finance and Account Department) who are accused of mishandling $9.5 million and $1.3 million by the EFCC.

Before adjourning the case, the judge ordered that the defendants’ sureties should sign a bond with the registrar of the court, and also deposit their international passports with the court.

They were dragged to the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on five counts bordering on criminal conspiracy, breach of trust and misappropriation.

The prosecutor, Mr. Steve Odiase, told the court that the three defendants conspired between January 8 and January 26, 2015, to commit the offences, contrary to Section 97 of Penal Code.

Odiase alleged that Andekin was entrusted with money meant for the development of football in Nigeria, a grant from the Federation of International Football Association.

He said that Andekin, however, fraudulently diverted $1.3 million from the NFF domiciliary account with Zenith Bank, an act that is contrary to section 311 of the Penal Code.

He further alleged that Zaka on his part, fraudulently diverted $7.2 million grant from FIFA for development of football in Nigeria while Mamza diverted $2.3 million.

The defendants all pleaded not guilty to the charges, and their counsel, Mr. Arinze Egbo applied for their bail.

 

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