NFF Scandal: The $80,000 conspiracy of silence

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by Olajide Ayodeji Fashikun Managing Editor, National Trail newspaper –

Recently, yes, not too long ago, the sum of $238,000 developed wings and flew away from the coffers of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). People were arrested, police did what Fela Anikulapo Kuti calls ‘shakara oloje’ and some few were taken to court. The court did not find them guilty. The money became what the Hausas call “asara”.


This year, yes, this year, monies severally developed wings in millions and flew away from the coffers of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL). We were promised that the matter will go the way of the $238,000. From the initial Police ‘gra gra’ the monies (N92m) have gone the NFF way.
Again. Yes, again. $80,000 grew wings again and has disappeared from the NFF. When? There are two theories. Theory one is that the money developed wings right there in Abuja. Theory two is that the money disappeared in Kinshasha.
The U-20 Women’s national team, known as the Falconets, went to Kinshasha, Congo Democratic Republic for FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup qualifying match. The match was the second leg, final round of the African qualifying series. Nigeria won the first leg 4-0. The $80,000 was the match bonus of the team.
There was a report that the money was missing. Report was lodged with Abuja. Another cache was hurried to Kinshasha. There was a decision that the missing money was to be handled quietly in-house. Media coordinator of the team, Andrew Abbah was said to have been made to swear to an oath of secrecy and was rewarded for the pledge.
All administrative staffers on the trip were said to have been stripped naked and their luggage searched but nothing was found on them. Yet, no report was made to the local police if it was true that the money was missing in Kinshasha. Afterall, the suspects were searched thoroughly by Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme. This makes the theory that the money was missing in Abuja strong. Otherwise, how did they raise another $80,000 in a jiffy?
Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Sports, Honourable Ayo Omidiran, led the delegation that included Director, Technical of the Nigeria Football Federation, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme and NFF technical committee member, Mr Paul Bassey.

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