Court truncates NFF September 30 elective congress

Amend NFF statutes, PFAN Taskforce insists

By Oviri Kelvin, Sprts Editor, Abuja

The Federal High Court 5, Abuja, has put on hold the September 30 elections of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) after Justice Inyang Ekwo granted an order to parties to maintain status quo.

This development is coming on the heels after the Professionals Football Association Task Force dragged the nation’s football governing body, NFF President Amaju Pinnick, and the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development over their refusal to amend the NFF 2010 statutes.

According to PFAN Taskforce, relevant football stakeholders, following the NFF 2010 statutes, have been denied the right to lawfully partake in the constitution of the NFF board and others which must to be amended to accommodate all interests.

To ensure their request is granted, PFAN Taskforce has been meeting with the contending candidates for the September 30 elections to agree to their demand of amending the statutes should any of them succeeds the outgoing Amaju Pinnick.

NFF Glass House
NFF Glass House

Rather than concede to their request, all the candidates have in one way or the other refused to accept the request of the stakeholders prompting them to stall the elective congress through the court.

“For sometime now, we have been having meetings with the various candidates on the need to amend the statute,” the Secretary PFAN Taskforce, Edema Fulubu told the Guardian.

Read also: NFF Elections: Akinwunmi, Dikko, Gusau, 8 others cleared for presidential race

“The plan is for any one that emerges president at the September 30 election to amend the statute as soon as he comes on board so that all stakeholders can have full representation in the NFF board.

“But nobody is willing to sign with us. In other words, we are not sure they will implement it after the election. Now, we have to ensure the statute is amended before we go into the election,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, PFAN Taskforce, Harrison Jalla, said they approached the court in 2021 seeking for the NFF statutes 2010 to be amended to provide a level playing ground in terms of voting rights, representation and other jurisdictions in the NFF board for all five statutory bodies that make up the nation’s football governing body.

“The plaintiff approached the court in mid 2021 after due process, demanding an amendment to the NFF statutes 2010 for equal representation for all the five statutory bodies making up the Nigeria Football Federation in terms of voting rights and representation on the NFF board, its congress and Sub/Standing Committees,” Jalla said.

“The court had earlier in the month of June 2022 hearing adjourned further proceedings in this matter to October 31, 2022. In between and in their usual characteristic manner of having no regards for the laws of the land, the defendants brazenly fixed election for September 30, 2022 in spite of an interlocutory application pending before the court.

”Consequently and ruling in an exparte application moved this morning by (1) Dr. Celsius Ukpong (2) Chief Rumson Victor Baribote and Fayeneniga Jacob, all representing the plaintiff, Justice Inyang Ekwo ordered the NFF September 30 Election to be put on hold and that parties should maintain status quo.”

Jalla had earlier said Justice Inyang Ekwo gave the order at about 9.45 a.m. yesterday, while presiding over a matter in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1376/2022 between (1) Harrison Jalla, (2) Chief Rumson Victor Baribote, (3) Austin Popo, (4) The Registered trustees of the National Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF) (Trading under the name and style of Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria) (PFAN) VS (1) Nigeria Football Association (NFA) (Trading under the name and style of the Nigeria Football Federation) (NFF), (2) Amaju Pinnick, (3) Minister of Sports and Youth Development.

However, whether the September 30 elections will still hold is a subject of discussion as Justice Inyang Ekwo adjourned further proceedings to next month 31 October, 2022.

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