The leadership crisis rocking the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) took a new twist yesterday when officers of the Department of State security (DSS) stormed the Glass House, NFF headquarters in Abuja on orders from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice to the effect that Nigeria would respect world football –body, FIFA’s position on the matter.
The yesterday’s invasion of NFF by the DSS marks the third in the last three years the security operatives will be storming the NFF facility in a bid to resolve the ongoing crisis that started in August 2014.
On July 2, factional leader, Chris Giwa took over the NFF leadership following an order by the sports minister, Solomon Dalung, in compliance with a verdict from the Supreme Court.
Giwa’s faction had announced the appointment of Emmanuel Ikpeme as the new acting general secretary, which, by the latest action by the directive from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, according to a statement Ademola Olajiri, director of communication, NFF, has been reversed.
Ademola in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP Sports yesterday, said Operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) stormed the NFF Secretariat with orders to restore normalcy to the place, and were later joined by Dr. Sanusi, who received a letter from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice to the effect that Nigeria would respect world football –body, FIFA’s position on the matter.
However, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung has insisted that nothing has changed after the Supreme Court ruling and Orders of the Federal High Court in Jos on the Nigeria Football Federation on April 27, 2018.
Dalung in a statement which he personally signed said the status quo remains.
“As far as I am concerned, nothing has changed. There is no development after the Supreme Court ruling of April 27, 2018 and the Federal High Court Order of 5th June, 2018 because the court has not vacated the order.
“Those who are presently trying to instigate confusion, using the name of the President must be aware that the President cannot go against the rule of law. The Order issued by the court has not been vacated and the President cannot vacate a court order because there are clear cut processes of doing that.
“What happened in the NFF today is security excesses but it will be sorted out. The Federal government is urging members of the public to remain calm as it is doing its best to resolve the crises in the Nigeria Football Federation.
He said the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has already initiated a process for amicable resolution of the crisis.
“The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has already initiated a process of trying to bring the stakeholders together, to work out a road map out of this quagmire. The Stakeholders’ meeting billed for Tuesday July 24, 2018 will still go ahead as planned.
“We want to assure Nigerians that Government is sorting out the grey areas but nobody should drag the name of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria into this. The President is an advocate of the Rule of Law and he cannot be associated with the security excesses of a breach of the Rule of Law.
We urge the civil servants in the federation to remain calm and go about their normal duties.”
The existing rancor between Chris Giwa and Amaju Pinnick, could be the traced back to 2014 when different factions of the NFF produced Giwa and Pinnick as Presidents of the football federation.
In a ruling by the Federal High Court, Jos in 2014, the Chris Giwa administration was proscribed winner of the election.
Subsequently, the Supreme Court in its ruling also upheld the decision of Federal High Court in Jos, thus sustaining its judgment that Chris Giwa is authentic president of the NFF.
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