Anti-graft body examines Nigerian football leaders

Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency plans to investigate current

and former leaders of the nation’s football federation.

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission spokesman Femi Babafemi

told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the investigation

centers on former president Sani Lulu and former vice president

Amanze Ugbulam.

Babafemi said investigators are also looking at former technical

committee member Taiwo Ogunjobi and current general secretary

Bolaji Ojo-Oba.

Babafemi made his comments after President Goodluck Jonathan

backed down on his threat to suspend the federation after Nigeria’s

poor performance at the World Cup. FIFA had been set to sanction

the country if Jonathan followed through on his threat.

Nigeria left the World Cup with just one point, earned in a 2-2

draw with South Korea in its last game. Nigeria lost to Argentina

1-0 in its Group B opener and fell to Greece 2-1 in a game turned

by the first-half ejection of midfielder Sani Kaita.

However, controversy followed the team during its brief

appearance in South Africa. Corruption allegations against the

federation’s management arose after officials fired coach Shaibu

Amodu in February and hired Swedish coach Lars Lagerback only about

four months before the World Cup.

Presidential spokesman Ima Niboro said last week that all funds

directed toward the Nigeria Football Federation would be examined

and “all those found wanting will be sanctioned.” Police

apparently entered the federation’s offices last week, though a

federation spokesman said the officers came only to oversee a

planned rally there.

Oil-rich Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, is often

considered by analysts and watchdog groups to have one of the

world’s most corrupt governments.

Online:

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission:

http://www.efccnigeria.org

Nigeria Football Federation: http://www.nigeriaff.com/