Ambassador Chris Giwa-led board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) stormed the Glasshouse, NFF’s secretariat, yesterday with armed policemen to assume office as the authentic president of the Nigeria Fotball Federation.
Giwa, who arrived at the NFF’s head office with some of his board members, went straight to the offices to greet the staff on duty before addressing them in the board room.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after meeting the staff, Giwa said he will not waste time deliberating on what has gone, thus roll out plans as to how Nigeria’s football will regain its glory.
He promised to support all the national teams particularly the Falconets that will be heading to FIFA Women U-20 World Cup in France, next month.
He said his board has no plan in disrupting the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) as they are preparing to resume from World Cup break.
“We are here today by the virtue of mandate we got at the ‘Annual General Assembly of NFF’ that took place August 26, 2014 at Chida Hotel, where we were elected into the NFF Executive Committee to serve for four years.
“We have plans on ground for the national teams which we will roll after our next board meeting on Friday.
“I know that Nigerians want result and my prayer is to get the needed positive results for all the national teams. Though, it is one thing to have good plans and another thing to get the needed results. But I know with God on our side, our national teams will make Nigerians proud once again,” he said.
The new NFF boss while promising to embark on reconciliation of all aggrieved members for the success of the federation insisted that Nigeria as a sovereign nation could not be threatened by any foreign interest, saying NFF operated in tandem with the Nigeria’s constitution.
“We are grateful to God for making it possible for us to reclaim our mandate and we shall give Nigerians good results.
LEADERSHIP recalls that Chris Giwa was elected as president of the NFF on August 26, 2014, but his election was not recognised by FIFA, and Amaju Pinnick eventually got elected in another election in Warri, Delta State.
Following the development, Giwa went to pursue his case at the Jos High Court and the court ruled in his favour that he was duly elected president of the body. But the Appeal Court nullified the lower court ruling before the Supreme Court set aside the Appeal Court’s judgment and upheld the appellants, Chris Giwa’s contention that they could have the case re-listed before the trial court after their settlement talks broke down but rejected his plea to have the case heard and determined on its merit.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung has directed the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), a parastatal under it, to comply with the judgment of the Supreme Court delivered on April 27, 2018, which restored the orders of the Federal High Court, setting aside the purported September 30, 2014 elections that brought Amaju Pinnick-led board of NFF to office.
The minister said in a statement that the directive followed a written notification signed for the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice requesting the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports to ensure compliance.
‘I have been directed to notify you of the Orders dated June 5, 2018 made by Honorable Justice M. H. Kurya sitting at the Federal High Court Jos in respect of the above mentioned suit between Yahaya Adama Vs Alhaji Aminu Maigari which states that the election of the NFF held on August 26, 2014 under the leadership of Amb Chris Giwa be given recognition pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed in this case and that the purported ban of the Executive Committee elected on August 26, 2014 from football activities of the NFF is unconstitutional, null and void.
‘It is trite law that court orders are sacrosanct and any acts of disobedience to it constitute threat to the rule of law. Consequent upon the above, you are hereby advised to comply with the orders of court made therein which for now, is the valid and binding order of court, in the absence of any other subsisting order or judgment to the contrary,’ the notification stated.
“This is a court order and not from Dalung. I will not want to go to Kuje prison because of disobedience of court orders. Therefore, I hereby comply with the court orders of June 5, 2018, while Mr Amaju Pinnick and others are also directed to comply with same.”
Amaju Pinnick has reacted to his sack as president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), describing it as “null and void”.
Pinnick in a statement signed by his counsel, Festus Keyamo and made available to LEADERSHIP sports, gave reasons why the ruling cannot stand.
It reads: “We are solicitors to Mr. Amaju Pinnick and the present Board of the NFF which he heads. We issue this statement on the instruction and directive of our clients which reflects their official position on the matter.
“The attention of our clients has been drawn to a statement purportedly issued at the behest of the Minister of Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung, directing the NFF to comply with certain court orders effecting a change of leadership in the NFF. Our clients wish to alert the general public and the authorities in Nigeria that the so-called directive by the Minister of Sports is null, void and of no effect.”
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