Confusion trails Nigerian football again

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A fresh
bout of confusion is about to engulf Nigerian football over the resolution passed
by the Nigeria Football Federation Elections Appeals Committee on the September
30 elections.
In
a report released by Okey Ajunwa, Chairman of the committee, the election of  Amaju Pinnick conducted on the 30th September
in Warri was nullified.
The
Chairman in a three hour ruling pronounced also that all candidates in the 26th
August and 30th September disputed elections stand to re-contest the
bye-election which he fixed for a week from Thursday.
By
this decision, former NFA Secretary General, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi, winner of
the 26th August election Ambassador Chris Giwa and the disqualified
presidential aspirant in the 30th September elections, Shehu Dikko who was
adjudged to have been wrongfully disqualified will enjoy a fresh breathe to
contest the bye-election.
The
ruling also gave a fresh window to Barrister Iyke Igbokwe to contest the
election while Felix Anyansi-Agwu and his Kano counterpart, Inuwa Shariff got
their elections nullified while they were also disqualified from contesting the
bye-election.
The
committee ruled that both states can only have one representative on the NFF
board, acknowledging that the mentioned states already have representatives in
Emeka Inyama and Ahmed Kawu.
However,
Ajunwa ruled that the bye-elections be held in Abuja.
The
positions to be filled in the bye-election are:
President,
First
Vice President,
Board
member South East and,
Board
member North West.
The
election of Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi as first vice president of the NFF in
Warri also got a knock. His election suffered the gavel based on the petition
of Alhaji Suleiman Muazu.
The
re-election was however hung on one clause for all the candidates that will
re-contest. All cleared candidates with existing cases against the NFF in
courts within Nigeria or at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) , must
withdraw such cases forthwith, before they can participate in the bye
elections.
However,
twenty four hours, before Ajunwa’s ruling became public, a similar report from
the other members of the committee upheld the Warri elections and dismissed all
appeals. This ‘report’ was a one and a half page document issued by the Media
section of the NFF.
Speaking
with journalists in Abuja on Thursday before delivering his main report, Ajunwa
said other committee members who “hastily” upheld the September polls are not
legal practitioners and were ignorant of the law.

“None
of them is a lawyer, I am the lawyer and I know the law, I have gathered the
results of the committee and I will read them out in accordance with FIFA and
CAF rules,” Mr. Ajunwa told reporters in Abuja.
He
declared: “The elections of Amaju Pinnick is hereby nullified and he is barred
from parading himself as the President of the Nigeria Football Federation
hence.”
He
also ruled that the election was marred by violence and abuse.
He
questioned why the poll was held in Delta State, the home of Pinnick, and said
another contestant for the office, Shehu Dikko, was wrongly disqualified on the
elections day.
Journalists
who covered the presentation of the report praised the transparency with which
the chairman of the committee

Electoral Appeals Committee members
rubbish Ajunwa’s claims
But
other members of the appeals committee who released their own report a day
earlier rubbished the chairman, Ajunwa’s claims.
The
other members dismissed it as a mere minority report that is of no consequence
– and therefore null and void.
Speaking
in Abuja, the members lampooned Okey Ajunwa and stated that they are merely
holding back from revealing the much they know about how he has, unfortunately,
conducted himself since he was appointed to head the committee.
“Barr.
Ajunwa failed in several aspects in this assignment. He failed to invoke the
meeting of the Electoral Appeals Committee and it was when time had ran out on
the appeals that he woke up suddenly to call for a hearing,” the members said.
Meanwhile,
the Executive Committee of Nigeria Football Federation has accepted in its
entirety, the decision of the NFF 2014 Electoral Appeals Committee as conveyed
to the NFF General Secretary, Musa Amadu, after the Committee’s meeting in
Abuja on Wednesday, 3rd December, 2014.
Speaking
in Abuja on Thursday, Chairman of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee, Hon.
Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande praised the members of the committee for a thorough job,
and opined that the dissension of the chairman of the committee with a small
area of the appeals was of no effect.
“It
is a committee that was put in place, and the principle of committees is known
all over the world. The chairman of a committee has a casting vote; when there
is a tie among the members. In this case, all the other members voted to uphold
the NFF 2014 Elective Congress in its entirety, and that made the chairman’s
dissenting voice to be meaningless.
“The
NFF Executive Committee had the power to stop the NFF 2014 Electoral Appeals
Committee from hearing the appeals, because the Electoral Code was clear on
timing. The appeals must have been submitted within 14 days after the election,
and the hearing must have been done 14 days after the appeals. Everything was
supposed to have been concluded, in this case, by 24th October 2014, as the
last appeal was presented on 10th October, but the first sitting of the
committee took place on 29th October.”
Yahaya-Kwande,
who is a Member of the House of Representatives, said the magnanimity of the
NFF Executive Committee in allowing the committee to sit, deserves praise.
“Instead
of the entire process of appeals and hearing to be concluded by the end of
October, we had a situation in which the Electoral Appeals Committee held its
first sitting on 29th October.
“There
is not much to be said about the decisions other than to commend the members
and accept it in its entirety. The NFF Executive Committee takes this whole
thing in good faith and we can now properly set out on putting plans and
processes in place to accomplish our vision of taking Nigeria football to
heights never before attained.”
The
NFF 2014 Electoral Committee issued a press statement on Wednesday night
conveying its decision to uphold the NFF 2014 Elective Congress in its
entirety.
NFF
General Secretary, Barr. Musa Amadu, has already conveyed the Committee
members’ report to the Honourable Minister/Chairman, National Sports
Commission, Dr. Tammy Danagogo through the office of the Director General, Hon.
Gbenga Elegbeleye, world football –governing body FIFA and the continental
body, CAF.

Additional reports from www.gongnews.net

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