Nigeria

Abuja Court ‘stops’ 30 September NFF election

The proposed 30 September Nigeria Football Federation Elective Congress in Benin City, Edo State, may no longer take place as planned.

This comes after a court order allegedly obtained on Thursday, according to Harrison Jalla, the task force chairman for the Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria (PFAN).

In a news release, Mr Jalla said that by choosing 30 September for its Elective Congress, the NFF was initially attempting to break the law.

He stated that a hearing in a lawsuit to modify the NFF Statutes is ongoing and scheduled for 31 October, saying the choice of 30 September for the NFF election, as a result, is illegal.

With barely two weeks to the eagerly expected elections in Benin City, the momentum has been high with over 40 candidates cleared to vie for the different positions on the new NFF board.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported that the NFF Electoral Committee gave 11 contestants the green light to vie for the Presidency while it disqualified two others from the race.

For the post of 1st Vice President, it is a three-horse race between Felix Anyansi-Agwu, Obinna Ogba, and Chinedu Okoye.

Interestingly, only Yusuf Ahmed is in the running for the position of Chairman of Chairmen.

It is not clear if the latest court injunction will take the steam off the countdown to the NFF election or whether the polls will go on, as some already argue, Thursday’s court verdict is ‘fundamentally flawed’.

Read the full statement:

Hon. Justice Inyang Ekwo at about 9.45 am this morning 15th Thursday, September 2022 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 Nigeria 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) Hon. Minister of Sports and Youth Development.

“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. The Court had earlier in the month of June 2022 hearing adjourned further proceedings in this matter to October 31st, 2022.

“In between and in their usual characteristic manner of having no regard for the laws of the land, the Defendants brazenly fixed an election for 30th September 2022. This is in spite of an interlocutory application pending before the Court. Consequently, and ruling in an ex parte application moved this morning by (1) Dr. Celsius Ukpong (2) Chief Rumson Victor Baribote, and Fayeneniga Jacob, all representing the Plaintiff. Hon. Justice Inyang Ekwo ordered the NFF September 30th Election be put on hold and that parties should maintain the status quo and adjourn further proceedings to 31st October 2022.”