By Joseph Erunke

factions

 

ABUJA- ETHNIC nationalities in the country have applauded the judiciary over last Tuesday’s decision of the Federal High Court Abuja striking out the corruption case against some officials of the Nigeria Football Association,NFF including its president, Amaju Pinnick,which was pending before it.

To this end,the group called on the NFF President and his team to be magnanimous in victory.

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The youth wing of all the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, under the aegis of Coalition of Ethnic National Youth Leaders of Nigeria,CENYLON,at a media briefing in Abuja,said with the decision, it was time for the contending factions in the association to close rank and move forward in unity.

President General of the coalition,Comrade Eric Oluwole,who read the text of the group’s position before newsmen,said the judiciary’s decision has again, demonstrated that it remains the last hope of the common man.

Flanked by the group’s Deputy Spokesman,Agbateyiniro Wenyinmi,Ohaneze Youth President, Arthur Obiora and Arewa Youth Assembly President, Mohammed Salihu Danlami, he said,”We hence appeal to the NFF president and his team to be magnanimous in victory.”

“We urge all the groups to maintain unity and work together for the interest of Nigeria. We hence appeal to the NFF president and his team to be magnanimous in victory.

” They should learn to forgive and forget, so that Nigeria NFF can move forward.

“Equally, we are calling on the current  minister of Youths and Sports, to do the needful, so it ministry can thrive because the youths are the largest beneficiary of this,” it urged.

The text of the media briefing as presented,read in part:”CENYLON hails the Nigeria judiciary for remaining the last hope of the common man in the NFF imbroglio.

“Subject to the aforementioned, the Coalition Of Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders Of Nigeria, (CENYLON) who were in solidarity with the Amaju Pinnick led NFF board had to mobilize yesterday to the Federal High Court where the court threw out the case against the Pinnick led board.

“The coalition hails the examplary courage exhibited by the judge in delivering the landmark judgement.

“The pronouncement of the court was not in any way different from our stands on the issue. We discovered that there was no substance in the prosecution, rather media trials, harassment, etc.

“If not for the judiciary that had consistently remained the last hope of the common man,most innocent persons would have suffered a lot of injustice in the hands of those that are bent at destroying others and the rules of law at all cost.

” The judgement clearly put a stop to all distractions,blackmail that characterized the post election era since the Amaju Pinnick led board was elected some years ago.

“Following the judgment of the court yesterday, it is crystal clear that the leadership was and is innocent of all the distractions in forms of allegations.

“We urge all the groups to maintain unity and work together for the interest of Nigeria. We hence appeal to the NFF president and his team to be magnanimous in victory.

“As Christians they should learn to forgive and forget, so that Nigeria NFF can move forward.

“Equally, we are calling on the current  minister of Youths and Sports, to do the needful, so it ministry can thrive because the youths are the largest beneficiary of this.

“As representative of this youths across the country, we are interested in the progress of our youths and the nation.

“Nigeria is bigger than all of us and our patriotism must not be found wanting at all times. As leaders of indigenous groups in Nigeria, the interest of Nigeria is paramount to us.

“We thank judiciary, for doing it’s duties dutifully. It is no news that the court must be said to have done justice and justice must have been seen done. The judiciary laid to rest this dispute by standing on the path of truth, justice, fairness and equity.

“We thank Mr president Muhammadu Buhari and all well meaning Nigerians for allowing justice take it’s course.

“In conclusion, CENYLON is appealing to all factions to return as one. Unity is imperative. We consider sports in Nigeria as a unifying tool. Equally, the youths are major beneficiaries of this process. Hence any altercation will bear grievous consequences on the youth which has the largest population in Nigeria.

“We are watching to see the progress made in the unification of all factions. No nation can develop and progress in an atmosphere of acrimony and pandemonium. Hence we want peace, all we need is love and tranquility. ”

Recall that the Federal Government on Tuesday withdrew the corruption charges instituted against five officials of the Nigeria Football Association, 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.

 

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