The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have described as “outright falsehood” the media report alleging that President Muhammadu Buhari directed that their President, Amaju Pinnick, be prosecuted.
Concise News understands that the report had cited a fraud allegation against the NFF boss as the reason for Buhari’s purported directive.
Reacting to the report, in a statement issued by its communication department on Saturday, the Nigerian football body said the report was completely unfounded and is only a product of the writer’s imagination.
NFF also said their lawyers would take up the matter with the newspaper company that first published it in their online edition.
The statement read: “The attention of the Nigeria Football Federation has been drawn to a news item circulating on social media saying a directive has been issued by President Muhammadu Buhari that the President of NFF, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick be prosecuted and that Pinnick has also been issued with a travel ban.
“The report is completely unfounded and is only a product of the writer’s imagination. The NFF President, who is also the 1st Vice President of the Confederation of African Football, has not received any such message from any of the agencies mentioned by the writer and has also never been placed on travel ban.
“Mr. Pinnick was in Accra, Ghana on Friday, 4th January 2019 for a meeting with NFF and CAF partners AITEO and returned to Nigeria the same day. He has been going about his lawful official and personal activities unhindered. The NFF published its audited account in two (2) major national newspapers (ThisDay and Daily Trust) on Thursday, 20th December 2018 and in another major newspaper (Vanguard) on Tuesday, 25th December 2018. Anyone interested in the Federation’s financial transactions can refer to those pages.
“Our lawyers will take up the matter of the fake news item with the newspaper company that first published it in its online edition. But we urge other media companies and outlets to be painstaking in verification of their news items.
“We also urge our sponsors and partners, football stakeholders in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large, and other media institutions to disregard the said news report.”