PEN ROBBERS! NDANUSA, MAI NASARA ILO IMPLICATED IN LOOTING FIFA U-17 N12BN HOSTING FUND

Background to Record Setting Swindle

Nigeria’s hosting of the 2009 FIFA under 17 World Cup championship otherwise known as Nigeria 2009 may have turned out to be a record setting swindle by officials of the National Sports Commission (NSC) and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) responsible for organizing the successful hosting of the tournament.
Soon after the conclusion of the football tournament on November 15, a rash of protestation and public suspicion heckled the quality of organization deployed by both the LOC and the NSC in hosting the tournament in Nigeria. Not a few sports stakeholders had questioned the total N12billion reported by the LOC to have been spent on hosting the tournament. The LOC was managed by Mr. Mai Nasara Ilo in the capacity of the chief executive while the supervising Ministry of the LOC, the NSC, was under the charge of Engr. Sanni Mohammed Ndanusa, chairman of the NSC and the country’s Minister of Sports.
The truth (as new facts are unfolding) suggests that the hosting of the tournament represented different motives for FIFA, the global governing body of the game of soccer and the Nigerian Local Organising Committee, the adhoc body set up to manage the hosting of the tournament.
Insider sources at the LOC swore that FIFA administrators had to go out of their ways to support when they realized in the run up to the tournament that the organization of the event was headed for a possible embarrassing failure to it. This contrasted to the reported approach of the top echelon of the Nigerian LOC who were said to be determined to cut corners for personal gains in putting together the tournament.
At the end, the Nigerian government was presented with a N6billion debt supposedly arising from the hosting of the tournament, this is besides the N9billion initially approved for the LOC by the Federal Government and an additional N3billion doled out to the LOC just about two days to the kick off of the tournament on October 14. The additional N3billion was given out to the LOC on account of the various scenarios of failure painted by the LOC to throw the Federal Government into the scare mode.

What the Security Agencies Are Discovering

400 PEUGEOT CARS DIVERTED

The State Security Service (SSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission are reported to be involved in unearthing the shady deals that characterized the expenditure incurred during the hosting of the tournament.
Reports indicate that the reviews of the expenditures undertaken by the LOC as approved by its supervising ministry are becoming mind-boggling by the day.

The truth (as new facts are unfolding) suggests that the hosting of the tournament represented different motives for FIFA, the global governing body of the game of soccer and the Nigerian Local Organising Committee, the adhoc body set up to manage the hosting of the tournament.

A major troubling question that is yet to be properly answered by officials of the LOC and NSC is, how a fleet of 400 Peugeot cars ordered and duly paid for by the NSC simply disappeared into the air? A source in the then LOC confided that even as everybody awaited the delivery of the vehicles, nobody can, till this moment, explain how the cars were diverted.
“It is one of the major questions the security agencies are trying to resolve,” the source said.
“Except for the purchase of high budget SUVs that the top management of the LOC bought for themselves, there was a paucity of mainstream transport for the tournament, of course, the expected Peugeot cars had been diverted, it was again FIFA that came to the rescue when it imported a fleet of 78 Hyundai cars into the country to serve the transportation needs of middle ranking officials of FIFA and the LOC; so again, where did they spend the N13billion they collected?” the source further queried. “Matters usually get to a head when the LOC had to hire vehicles to convey its officials when the FIFA vehicles were not available.”

UNAVAILABILITY OF TRAINING AND COMPETITION PITCHES

A bewildering scandalous angle to emerging revelations is the failure of the LOC to invest in building training and competition pitches.
It would be recalled that a contract was awarded for the upgrading of the country’s stadia for a very huge amount to Mallorca Nigeria Limited over six months before the commencement of the tournament, and after several visits by FIFA to ascertain its worthiness, only disappointment awaited them.
An LOC insider said that matters got a to a head in this regard so much that Engr. Ndanusa himself had to make it a part of his morning chores to rush down to the Abuja stadium to water the pitch.
“This is because he holds a heavy interest in the company that was awarded the contract to upgrade the pitches,” the insider gushed.
“We know that in a desperate effort by FIFA to justify the granting of the hosting right to Nigeria, they were ready to do anything. In the face of the obvious failure of the LOC to provide the required four training pitches in each of the hosting city, FIFA had to reduce the standard requirement from four to two pitches and was compelled to provide two synthetic training pitches and donated them to the LOC. We also know that most of the other synthetic pitches used during the tournament in the eight centres were funded and provided by Governors of the states in which those centres were located. The centre are Abuja, Bauchi, Calabar, Enugu, Ijebu-Ode, Kaduna, Kano and Lagos. Now, tell me where they spent the billions they collected,” a security agency insider queried.

FIFA WAS ALSO FORCED TO PROVIDE ACCOMMODATION EVEN FOR NIGERIAN OFFICIALS

“This is beside the fact that FIFA arranged and paid for the accommodation and feeding of all the participating teams including even officials of the LOC. I know that Mr. Sanni Lulu, Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation and Mai Nasara Ilo, the LOC CEO himself stayed in rooms provided by FIFA at the Transcorp Hilton. Yet the LOC claimed it paid two point something billions on providing accommodation,” the source further revealed.
“What has also been revealed is that the LOC neither purchased nor installed any public address system in any of the stadia used for the tournament. Even the CCTVs that were supposed to be installed in the eight hosting states to enhance security of participants were only installed in Abuja. What happened to the money earmarked for both the importation and installation of the CCTV?” the security source wondered.

N37MILLION FOR TERMINAL DEDICATED TO NIGERIA 2009 AT NNAMDI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

As part of standard practice, a space is usually secured in the airport of the capital city of the hosting country’s where all participating teams and officials will arrive and depart from. To create this space, it is reported that the LOC claimed that it forced out a princely N37million. The sum went into partitioning the space, spending N7million for its perimeter fencing, fixing the toilet and laying tiles on the floor of the space dedicated for the Nigeria 2009 terminal.
“The LOC claimed they paid the sum of N7million to wash the space, we are not talking of the whole airport here, just the space,” the insider said.

WHAT HAPPENED TO 700 WALKIE-TALKIES BUDGETED FOR?

To ease communication between and among LOC officials, the LOC made orders for the delivery of 700 walkie-talkies. There is strong evidence to show that payment was duly made for the purchase of these walkie-talkies but all through the course of the tournament, none of the walkie-talkie was delivered, rousing suspicion of diversion.

WHEN UPS BECAME INVERTERS

Inverter is the new technology introduced to Nigeria to help assuage the continuing power problems ravaging the country. The management of Nigeria 2009 LOC also decided to adopt the new technology to support its computer network and other communications infrastructure.
Report affirmed that all the idea for using inverter turned suspicious when officials of the LOC only saw that they were units of UPS that were delivered instead of the more expensive inverters that had been paid for.

HUMILIATING FIFA’S PRESIDENT

Nothing would rankle the sensibility of the average Nigerians than the revelation that Mr. Sepp Blatter was left stranded at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport when he arrived the country two weeks to the commencement of the tournament.
“When the FIFA President arrived the country at about 10 p.m. there was nobody at the airport to receive him and his aides. In fact, private arrangements had to be made to convey him from the airport at about 11p.m.
“Perhaps, it was for this reason that FIFA determined to bring into Nigeria all provisions for the use of its about 230 officials, these included security gadgets and transportation,” the insider said.

WHO GETS N250, 000?

Part of the remuneration for officials of the LOC was the specific provision of N250,000 to be paid LOC board members as monthly seating allowance. Reports indicate that while the management of the LOC insisted that each member of the board was paid this stipend every month for six months, all members are denying receiving such payment for the period.

LOC SEND FORTH PARTY AND FIFA’S $5.5MILLION MARKETING GUARANTEED FUND?

Same source revealed that FIFA had released the sum of $5.5million generated from marketing activities related to the hosting of the tournament. Even in the face of claim of N6billion debt resulting from the hosting of the tournament, the LOC is reported to be planning to spend a sum of about N12million on a send forth party for officials of the LOC that had been disengaged weeks after the conclusion of the tournament.

WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY

At the NSC, our correspondent was told that the Commission or its chairman cannot be responsible for activities of the LOC because it was an independent body and administered as such.
At the EFCC, Fortune&Class Weekly was told that the agency was continuing in its investigation of the organization of the championship.
Several calls to the mobile telephone number 08037881673 belonging to the LOC’s CEO, Mai Nasara Ilo were not picked or returned.

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