By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
September 30, 2022, election of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) might not hold due to a court injunction.
Hon. Justice Inyang Ekwo on Thursday morning 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 June 2022 hearing adjourned further proceedings in this matter to October 31st, 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 30th September 2022 this is in spite of an interlocutory application pending before the Court.” A statement by Harrison Jalla, Chairman, Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria (PFAN) task force read.
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. Hon. Justice Inyang Ekwo ordered the NFF September 30th Election be put on hold and that parties should maintain status quo and adjourned further proceedings to 31st October 2022.
This court ruling puts this month’s NFF Election in a dicey condition.
Alas, the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) might intervene as football cases are not expected to be taken to court apart from the Court of Arbitration for Sports.
Eleven candidates have been cleared by the Electoral Committee for the NFF Presidential election with campaigns up and running after the declaration of interest.
Nigeria football enthusiasts and lovers will await the fate of the election as September 30 approaches.
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