The trial of Sani Lulu Abdullahi, former chairman and three other Board members of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF continued on Thursday before Justice E.S Chukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Abdulllahi is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC alongside Amanze Uchegbulam, Bolaji Ojo-Oba and Taiwo Ogunjobi for offences bordering on conspiracy and breach of due process which is in contravention of the Public Procurement Act.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday, an operative of the EFCC, Adeniyi Adebayo while being cross examined by Akin Olujimi, SAN, counsel to the 2nd and 3rd accused persons, told the court that the accused persons breached due process in the purchase of two Marcopolo buses as approved by the National Sports Commission.
Adebayo had on Wednesday told the court that contract for the purchase of the 2 buses was awarded to Ekene Dili Chukwu through ‘Direct procurement Option’ at the rate of N99m (ninety nine million naira). He stated that, the National Sports Commission, NSC like every other ministry sets threshold for its agencies. “The threshold was N20m (twenty million naira) and for a committee to go beyond the threshold, it has to revert to the supervising body,” he told the court.
Adebayo further told the court that the accused persons, instead of reverting to NSC for approval after the contract with Ekene Dili Chukwu was terminated, unilaterally re-awarded the contract to another company, CNBC Nigeria Limited for the same sum of N99m.
The witness further stated that CNBC Nigeria Limited rather than supply the two Marcopolo buses as stipulated in the contract agreement, supplied two Iriza buses which were of inferior quality.
The two Iriza buses supplied, according to him, lacked some essential parts which had to be replaced.
After listening to the witness, Justice Chukwu adjourned the case to May 7, 2014 for continuation of trial.
The former NFF top officials who are facing a 10 count charge bordering on conspiracy and breach of due process were first arraigned in October, 2010.
Count one of the charge reads; “That you Sani Lulu Abdullahi (M), Amanze Uchegbulam (M), Dr. Bolaji Ojo-Oba (M) and Taiwo Ogunjobi (M) on or about the month of February 2009, in the office of the Nigeria Football Federation in Abuja, within the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, while being Board members of the Nigeria Football Federation, conspired to commit an offence of felony to wit: refusing to follow due process by not requesting for suppliers, but rather without legal justification opted for emergency procurement procedure in the procurement of 2 numbers Mercedes-Bens Iriza buses and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under S. 518 (1) and (7) of the Criminal Code Act cap. C., 28 Laws of the Federation, 2004”.