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LMC Refutes Allegations Against Its Directors, Threatens Legal Action

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Leadership Nigeria News Today

The League Management Company (LMC) has refuted the directives by the Chris Giwa-led leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to its chairman, Shehu Dikko and the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Salihu Abubakar to step aside on grounds of an alleged committal to prison by the Jos High Court for contempt of court in 2016.

The LMC in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP Sports, yesterday, said the so-called committal to prison which was done ex-parte has being quashed by the Court of Appeal, Jos Division, in April 2017. The league body said given the shocking violation of the rules of fair hearing in the proceedings and conduct of the case, the Lower Court Judge was reported to the Nigeria Judicial Commission (NJC) for misconduct, by LMC.

It added that it has so far maintained a studied silence since the crisis in the NFF based on its belief on the extant football rules, regulations and statutes that would ultimately prevail and the company would want to, in line with its own governance rules.

“The attention of the League Management Company Ltd (LMC) has been drawn to a statement by a group claiming to be the “Board of the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF)” in clear contravention of the known football governance statutes and regulations and also purporting to direct the Chairman of LMC, Shehu Dikko and the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Salihu Abubakar to step aside on grounds of an alleged committal to prison of the two officers by a Jos High Court in 2016  for contempt of court in the case involving one Mustapha Abubakar  (suing for Giwa FC) and LMC.

The LMC has so far maintained a studied silence since the contrived crisis in the NFF took root as we always believed the extant football rules, regulations and statutes would ultimately prevail and the company would want to, in line with its own governance rules, maintain this stand.

It needs be stated, however, that the so-called committal which was done ex-parte (in the absence of the officers) was appealed in 2016 and quashed by the Court of Appeal, Jos Division, in April 2017. Given the shocking violation of the rules of fair hearing in the proceedings and conduct of the case at first instance, the Lower Court Judge was reported to the Nigeria Judicial Commission (NJC) for misconduct, by LMC.

For the avoidance of doubt and for public guidance, the LMC is a limited liability company governed by all applicable law, operated and governed by the LMC governance structure which was approved by the 20 NPFL club in 2013, NFF Executive Committee in 2014 and indeed ratified by a bona fide General Assembly (Congress) of the NFF at its meeting in Lagos 2014.

“The LMC governance structure is also registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in line with its extant rules on corporate governance. Accordingly, the LMC Regulations or governance structure has clear cut provisions and processes for appointing and removing its directors, including the Chairman and COO among others,” the statement read in part.

The league body further stated it has instructed its legal team to study the injurious and baseless statements in order to determine what steps to take to seek legal redress to protect the integrity of LMC, the NPFL brand, participating clubs, partners and sponsors and, indeed, the integrity of Association Football.



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