Owumi Emerges NPL Chairman, Baribote Faults Election
The election which, took place in Abuja, however, went ahead yesterday despite a Federal Court of Appeal order, obtained by one of the disqualified chairmanship candidates, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja.
The court order restrained the NPL and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) from going on with the proposed board elections, but the NPL electoral committee headed by Tony Rafua went ahead with the elections.
Ahead of the election, a groundswell of court cases were instituted by some aggrieved candidates. Amongst them was the one Jaja was contesting the decision of an Abuja high court judge, D.O Okorowo, who last week vacated his earlier injunction, stopping the conduct of the elections following a substantive suit filed by the former NFA board member.
However, in the election which was conducted at Lamonde Hotel, two days after the high court decision, Owumi pulled a total of 13 vote votes to beat Bayelsa United FC Chairman, Victor Rumson Baribote. Baribote pulled a total of four votes.
The election was boycotted by delegates from Sharks Football Club, Dolphin FC and Bayelsa United FC. Others elected to serve on the seven-man board are Shehu Gusau, vice chairman while Joe Amene, Abdulazeez Owolabi, Dan baba Abdulahi, Victor Baribote and Akinbobola Elvis, who stepped down in support of Owumi were elected members.
Before emerging as the chairman of the board, Owumi had at the first round of the poll defeated Ranchers Bees FC Chairman, Abdul-Azeez Mohammed for the chairman of chairmen contest.
Executive Chairman of the NPL, Alhassan Saleh Yakmut, while giving reasons why the elections went on despite a court order stated that both the NFF and NPL did not receive any court order stopping the election.
“We at the NPL did not receive any restraining order from any court as regards the election, so we did not have to act on mere speculations and rumors to atop the election again” he stated.
Owumi, who was immediately sworn in along with the other board members by Peter Ofikwu, assured all candidates that he would carry every football stakeholder along in his challenge to move Nigerian football forward.
He said ” I accept the very big task now on my shoulder today I hope to discharge my well for thedevelopment of thre premier league”
Meanwhile Bribote has declared his readiness to drag the NPL to the Court of arbitration for sports (CAS), following the manner in which the election was conducted.