Justice Peter Affen and lawyers representing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have blasted officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for “judicial time wasting” after the corruption trial against them was moved to June 27.
The FCT High Court continued the corruption trial involving three NFF accounts staff – NFF director of finance, Christopher Andekin; head of finance and accounts Jafaru Mamza and Rajan Zaka, a cashier – who are standing trial for diverting over $9.5 million being grants from FIFA and CAF for the development of football in Nigeria.
The defence counsel from Festus Keyamo Chambers requested a new date for the trial, which now seeks to join NFF president Amaju Melvin Pinnick and general secretary Mohammed Sanusi among the accused persons.
Prosecuting counsel Steve Odiase, who represented the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said the request by the defence was “judicial time wasting” and presiding Justice Peter Affen said it was an affront on his court.
“The defence sent in a letter seeking an adjournment, which the court considered an affront because it did not address the issue at stake,” Odiase said.
“This is time buying, judicial time wasting and delay of justice because the issue canvassed by both defence and prosecution is well known to law.
“The prosecution has liberty to amend its charge at any time before judgement, even in civil cases.
“I countered this and the Judge also saw this and frowned at it.”
In October, the EFCC charged the officials for allegedly stealing monies meant to develop football in Nigeria.
The accused persons have pleaded not guilty.