Olisa Aniuno, Chairman, Anambra Football Patriots (AFP), has applauded the enforcement of the Supreme Court order which nullified the election of Amaju Pinnick as President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), saying it was a good riddance to impunity. Aniuno, an aspirant for the chairmanship of Anambra State Football Association (FA) in the last election, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Awka that it would “bring the reign of impunity to an end”.
He congratulated Chris Giwa on his victory and assumption of office as the president of NFF, adding that it was a testimony that justice could only be delayed and not denied. Aniuno said Giwa who is a product of legally confirmed process should use his position to unite state FAs, including Anambra which were in crisis because of the way their leadership emerged under the watch of Pinnick.
On the legality of Giwa’s presidency before FIFA, Aniuno said though FAs were subject to FIFA, the world football governing body did not encourage disobedience to the rule of countries’ laws. “I want to congratulate and thank Giwa for his strength, courage and determination to see this matter to the end because the election that he won was taken away and occupied by someone else for over three years.
“So, he is welcome to the seat that rightly and legally belongs to him, it took a long time but justice has been done. “I am an example of some of the impunity under Pinnick, I spent time and money preparing for Anambra FA election which never held, he rather announced and ratified a result for an election that did not take place,” he said.
“If someone does enjoy legitimacy he is likely to have the tendency of not respecting rule of law, Pinnick condoned the impunity that took place in Anambra FA in spite of the protests, petitions and media reports against it. “He failed Anambra football community, moreover he ran the NFF the way he liked because he felt he was not answerable to anybody, it was an era of impunity and that is responsible for the setbacks we have experienced in Nigerian football.”
On his part, Odi Ikpeazu, President of Ikpeazu Redoubtable FC of Onitsha described the situation as “chickens coming home to roost”. Ikpeazu said though it it was good that Pinnick had been sacked, he expressed worries over the sustainability of the situation as it will likely expose Nigerian football to FIFA hammer.
“The status of NFF is determined by FIFA, it cannot exist independent of FIFA, if it wishes it can exist, it must forego all FIFA events. “In as much as I don’t like Pinnick’s administration, I am afraid if the sack will stand.
“The Ministry of Sports does have power to pass judgment over NFF, however FIFA did not foresee some of these impunity playing out now when they were conceiving immunity for football associations,” he said. (NAN)
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