FIFA’s hammer looms again, as court sacks NFF Board

Amaju Pinnick• NFF Files Appeal, Motion To Vacate Order, Stay-of-Execution
• Giwa FC, Others May Be Banned, As FIFA Writes Pinnick

A Federal High court sitting in Jos yesterday nullified the elections of the Amaju Pinnick-led Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) board and granted a motion filed by the Chris Giwa-led board to be recognized as the right administrators of the country’s football. But the NFF has swiftly filed an appeal seeking to vacate the order and a motion for a stay-of-execution against the judgment of the Jos High Court.

In re-listing the case for hearing on May 30 this year, the court also restored the order that the NFF election and Congress of September 30, 2014,be nullified.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Musa Haruna Kurya yesterday set aside Pinnick election as the NFF board president sequel to a judgment of October 24, 2014. The current case was filed on February 23, 2016, by the Giwa board seeking the restoration of their suit.

Justice Kurya granted the prayers of Yahaya Adama and Senator Obinna Ogba to relist the case, which among other things, had sought to nullify the Warri General Assembly and the subsequent elective congress that turned in Pinnick as President of the NFF.

Justice Kurya in delivering his ruling went ahead to also sustain all the previous orders of the court, effectively making Ambassador Chris Giwa the head of the NFF until the final determination of the suit.

Reacting to the latest development yesterday, NFF’s First Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi, said: “This is a sad one primarily because we have enjoyed a period of peace and have been able to work without the court-today-court-tomorrow situation of the last half of 2014.

“We have filed for stay-of-execution and that means the status quo remains and anything done is done at the actors’ peril. I can assure football–loving Nigerians that there is no reason to panic as we are in full charge and there is no trouble whatsoever. There is no order for the Giwa group to take over the Glass House. In fact, many of his so-called board members have called to dissociate themselves from the matter.”

The Guardian recalls that the Ambassador Giwa-led group had gone to court to withdrawn the case in October 2014, but then later went to the Court of Arbitration for Sports, which threw out their case.

Meanwhile, there are indications that the Pinnick-led NFF board will meet on Tuesday to take some decisive actions, which may include banning Chris Giwa from all football-related activities.

Source close to the NFF revealed that the world football governing body, FIFA, wrote to the Pinnick-led board yesterday to show its displeasure with the latest pronouncement by the Jos court. FIFA is said to have sent a delegation, which is expected to arrive Nigeria on Monday.

Some stakeholders, who commented on the issue yesterday, blamed the looming crisis on the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, who they accused of using his Jos connection to swing the peddle in favour of his kinsman, Chris Giwa.

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