Sani Lulu, the former president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and three others pleaded innocent on Tuesday to corruption charges involving six million dollars of a 2010 World Cup budget.
Lulu, alongside former vice-president Amanze Uchegbulam, a former secretary-general Bolaji Ojo-Oba and and ex-board member Taiwo Ogunjobi, face a 10-count charge of mismanaging 900 million naira (six million dollars) of the national squad’s World Cup budget.
They entered their not guilty pleas and a High Court in Abuja set out stringent conditions for them to be freed on bail.
The four, whose trial date is yet to be fixed, are also accused of paying out allowances to unauthorised officials.
They will also answer to charges of incurring a fine for a last-minute change of a World Cup training base for the national team and splashing out 400,000 dollars to stage a friendly against Colombia in London before the World Cup.
High Court judge Donatus Okorowo ordered each of the officials to produce two sureties and deposit a 100 million naira (660,000 dollars) bond by Wednesday in bail conditions.
One of the sureties must be a senior public worker, while the other will be of high standing in Nigeria.
The guarantors will have to present their tax clearance certificates for the past three years and also have fixed property in Abuja.
Charges against the four were brought by Nigeria’s anti-graft police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“We have established some infractions against the officials and they will now be prosecuted for these infractions,” Femi Babafemi, EFCC spokesman said earlier.
The officials were first quizzed by EFCC in July.
In the meantime, a Lagos High court has nullified the August 26 elections of the executive committee of the NFF because it was conducted in defiance of a court order.
“The purported election held into the elective offices of the NFA, trading under the name of NFF, on August 26, 2010, is hereby nullified,” declared Justice Okon Abang.
The court ordered the most senior secretariat staff to take over the NFF.
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