By Patrick Omorodion
Former Director General of the national Sports Commission, NSC, Dr. Amos Adamu’s spirited effort to clear himself of cash -for-vote scandal in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests which led to his ban from all football activities by FIFA came crashing yesterday as the Court of Arbitration in Sport(CAS) rejected his appeal.
After the FIFA Executive Committee banned Dr. Adamu in November 2011, the Ogbomosho-born football administrator who became a FIFA Executive Committee member in 2006 appealed the ban approved by the Ethics Committee of the world body, insisting he was innocent and just framed by a British newspaper, the Sunday Times.
Not satisfied by the decision of the Appeals Committee chaired by Bermudan judge Larry Mussenden which upheld the decision of the Ethics Committee, Dr. Adamu went to CAS where he swore that he would be set free, stressing that both the Ethics Committee and Appeals Committee were wrong but yesterday’s CAS decision put the final nail on his coffin.
According to the BBC, “CAS considered (that) the sanction was not disproportionate,” and that “[The ban] was even relatively mild, considering the seriousness of the offence.”
“The CAS panel stressed that it was of crucial importance that top football officials should not only be honest but should evidently and undoubtedly be seen to be honest,” the judgement said.
“With respect to the behaviour of Dr Adamu, the CAS panel was comfortably satisfied that he was far from actively and unambiguously refusing the improper offer set forth by the alleged lobbyists,” the BBC reported.
CAS said that though Adamu argued that the evidence against him should have been rejected because “the journalists would have violated the Swiss Criminal Code” in gathering their material, it rejected the argument because it was “an international tribunal sitting in Switzerland” and as such is not bound to follow the rules of the Swiss courts.
Some Nigerians had called on the EFCC to prosecute Dr. Adamu because his action brought disrepute to Nigeria but his associates argued that since had appealed, he could not be adjudged to be guilty until his appeal was heard by CAS.