Adelabu seeks penalties for those behind frivolous charges against NFF officials
Former Green Eagles winger, Adegoke Adelabu wants the law to descend on those who raised the false alarm of corruption against the president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick and four other officials of the football house.
Pinnick and Seyi Akinwunmi (1st Vice President), Shehu Dikko (2nd Vice President), Mohammed Sanusi (General Secretary) and Ahmed Yusuf (Executive Committee member) were yesterday discharged and acquitted from the alleged $8.4million, N4 billion corruption charges in a case brought by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel, SPIP.
The panel, headed by Okon Obono-Obla, who is now on the run to avoid prosecution by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission, ICPC, had filed a 16–count charge against Pinnick and the NFF’s top four over alleged misappropriation of the sums of $8.4 million and N4 billion, conflict of interest and non-declaration of assets.
But Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu yesterday dismissed the entire case with all 16 charges, and acquitted the NFF chieftains in consideration of the submission of the defence and the prosecution and in line with the rules of administration of criminal justice.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Adelabu, a sports scientist, said since the people failed to prove their corruption charges against Pinnick and the four officials, those who raised the alarm should be traced and prosecuted.
At the court yesterday, a counsel from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, which had taken over the case, said it could not proceed with the matter, as the proof of evidence could not sustain the charges.
Adelabu, an ex-player of the IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan said: “For Pinnick and the other four officials of the NFF to be acquitted of the corruption charges means some people raised a false alarm against them. It is simple. The law should take its full course against such people for making Nigerians to believe that Amaju and co was corrupt.
“They (Pinnick and co) were subjected to all kinds of public humiliation for the period. It was big torture that could have pushed some of them into emotional disorder. I am sure some people raised the alarm in the first place. Since they can’t prove it, they should be made to pay dearly for it. It will serve as a deterrent for others,” Adelabu stated.