Ekeji testifies in Lulu’s corruption case | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Ekeji testifies in Lulu’s corruption case

Posted: Apr 16, 2015 at 12:47 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Tony Ezimakor /  Snr Correspondent Abuja


Former Director General of the National Sports Commission, Chief Patrick Ekeji, on Wednesday gave evidence in the case of corruption/misapplication of funds brought against former Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) boss, Sani Lulu, by the EFCC.



Also standing trial in the case filed in 2010 includes then NFF Vice President, Amanze Uchegbulam, former scribes of the federation, Taiwo Ogunjobi and Bolaji Ojo-Oba.

Responding to questions by lead counsel to the defendants, Sunday Ibrahim Ameh (SAN), on how NFF is funded, Ekeji said that “the NFF is funded substantially through the budgetary process,” even though the NFF attracts other sources of funding to run its activities.

He told the court that the NSC does not know nor query what the federation generates outside its statutory allocations as doing so would be seen as interference, adding that NSC knows only what the federation wants to reveal.

According to him, only once throughout his tenure as DG, was minutes of meeting of the tender’s board of the federation brought to the notice of the NSC.

“As a supervising agency, the NSC knows only what the federation wanted it to know. It is not the duty of the NSC to summon the NFF to explain its other sources of funding since doing so would be seen as interference. So the NSC is not aware of how much the NFF makes from outside government,” Ekeji stressed.

Asked under what guideline was the federation run, he said that it was by the NFF statutes, a position the counsel challenged by tendering document to support his claim that it was run in line with CAF and FIFA statutes.

He admitted that the administration of Lulu sometimes in 2009 put up a request to the NSC for the purchase of two Marco Polo buses from Ekene Dili Chukwu which was duly approved. Ekeji wondered why the federation decided to buy the buses from another company against its own request, and at cost far more than what was approved by NSC.

Reacting after the hearing, counsel to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Titus Alasukan Asaolu, said the accused by their action contravened provisions of the Public Procurement Act in the purchase of the Marco Polo buses by failing to comply with approval of the supervising agency.

He observed that they did not just fail to purchase the buses from Messers Ekene Dili Chukwu but went ahead to buy the buses of lower specifications at the cost of N99 million instead of N50 million approved by the NSC.

But counsel Uchegbulam and Ogunjobi, Akin Olujimi regretted that protracted strike by judicial workers had prolonged the case unnecessarily, even as he maintained that his clients followed the provisions of the Public procurement Act.

Meanwhile, Justice S.C Chukwu has adjourned the case to May 26 for the cross examination of accused by counsel to EFCC, while the cross examination of former NSC DG continues today.