To forestall a breakdown of law and order, over 35 policemen were said to have taken over the NFF Glass House yesterday following Friday’s commotion after a court in Jos pronounced the sack of the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF board.
And in what appears to be a new twist, the President of the National Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF), Harrison Jala, has declared that both the Sports Minister Solomon Dalung, Minister for Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF board and Chris Giwa are ‘operating illegality’ for failing to adhere to a pronouncement by an Abuja Federal High Court on January 20, 2012, declaring the NFF as an illegal body
Jala told Guardian reporter yesterday that the Jos court, which sacked on the Pinnick-led NFF board on Friday was ‘misled’ saying: “The court did know that Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had declared the NFF as an illegal body since 2012.
“The law of our parliament says that Nigerian football should operate under the Nigeria Football Association (NFA). Some group of people on their own changed the name to NFF because they don’t want to be accountable to the government. We have drawn the attention of the Sports Minister (Dalung) and the Attorney-General (Malami) to it.
If the Sports Minister is not courageous enough to effect it, then he should resign,” Jala said.
An official of the NFF told The Guardian yesterday that the struggle by Giwa to take over Nigerian football ‘by force’ would never end in his favour.
“FIFA’s law is very clear. Giwa lost out at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last year and there is no way he can come in through the back door.
“The CAS is an institution independent of any sports organization and I expect Giwa to give up this struggle instead of trying to force his way through a regular court, which FIFA won’t recognize. Even the pronouncement by
Justice Musa Kurya of the Jos High Court is subject to legal interpretation,” the official said.
Meanwhile, Lagos lawyer, Festus Keyamo, has said that the board of the Pinnick-led NFF has not been sacked by any court in the country.
In a statement yesterday by Festus Keyamo, who is solicitors to the NFF, he also debunked reports that the Federal High Court in Jos, in its ruling on Friday, ordered Giwa to take over the leadership of the Federation.
According to him, “What the so-called Chris Giwa is attempting to do is nothing but sheer brigandage and we shall be writing to all authorities concerned to arrest and prosecute him if he dares to take the laws into his hands.
In the same vein, Keyamo warned the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, not “to aid this sheer madness.
“Whoever wants to remove Amaju Pinnick and members of the NFF board from office must approach the court to join them as parties and must seek clear and positive Orders against each and everyone of them.
“The public and all football lovers must ignore this storm in a tea cup. There is simply NO COURT ORDER removing anybody from office,” Keyamo stated.
It was learnt yesterday that the over 35 policemen, who took over the NFF premises said they were under instruction from the office of the Inspector General of Police to protect the football house from those parading themselves as rightful occupants of the glass house.
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