By Albert Akota
In a landmark judgment, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, yesterday, set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja delivered on February 22nd, 2016 by Justice E. S. Chukwu which dismissed a ‘no-case-submission’ filed by Sani Abdullahi Lulu, a former President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in the corruption charge brought against him and three others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Justice Ahmad Belgore in his judgment, said: “This appeal has merit and the judgment of the Federal High Court, delivered on February 22, 2016 is hereby set aside and the appellant, Sani Abdullahi Lulu, discharged acquitted.”
Justice Belgore said the case was an appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court, Maitama Division delivered by Justice E.S. Chukwu on February 22, 2016 wherein the Appellants suit of a ‘no-case-submission’ was dismissed on the ground that the defendants were bound by the Public Procurement Act, PPA, and as such should defend themselves in the charges leveled against them by the EFCC.
Lulu and three others, Amanze Uchegbulam, a former first vice president of NFF; Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi, a former executive committee member and NFF former secretary-general, Dr. Bolaji Ojo-Oba were arraigned on September 6, 2010, for alleged misappropriation of funds without giving proper accounts of how the money was spent during the South Africa 2010 World Cup.
Lulu and his co-accused among other things were also accused of flouting due process in the purchase of two Marcopolo buses for the national teams.
While, the appeals of Amanze Uchegbulam and Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi, Sani Lulu’s co accused are still pending at the Court Appeal, the fourth accused person, Bolaji Ojo-Oba, erstwhile general secretary of NFF, had earlier been discharged acquitted by the Court of Appeal.