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NFF election face uncertainty as Nigerian govt, aspirants opt to obey Court order

The Nigeria Football Federation must make a choice about the fate of the Elective Congress on September 30.

The Nigeria Football Federation must make a choice about the fate of the Elective Congress on September 30.

The national football organization has two days to remove a permanent court injunction that has been preventing the upcoming 2022 election for the NFF executive board for the subsequent four years if they wish to proceed.

The NFF Elective Congress that was set to take place in Benin City on September 30, 2022, was halted on September 15 by an ex-parte order issued by Hon. Justice I.E. Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja, pending the hearing of the case in October.

Following the current order, the Nigerian government on Wednesday heightened the tense environment by asking football stakeholders to abide by the ruling stopping the elections.

Ismaila Abubakar, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, advised the nation’s football governing body to refrain from any actions that would violate the law of the land in a statement.

The Federal High Court ordered all parties, including the NFF and the Hon. Minister of Youth and Sports Development, to maintain the status quo ante until the court’s final order, according to the statement. “The Ministry is also aware of this Court Order made by Hon. Justice I.E. Ekwo of the Federal High Court on the 15th day of September, 2022,” it said.

“Following the above Order of Court, which had also been served on the Office of the Honorable Minister of Youth and Sports Development as the Third Defendant in the case in question, the Hon. Minister of Youth and Sports Development will obey and abide by the Court Order and hereby advises all other Defendants in this case, including NFF to abide by the Order of Court by not doing anything or taking any further step(s); particularly, as regard NFF elections that will take place in the near future

Some of the candidates for the NFF presidency expressed their concerns about the court injunction earlier on Tuesday after meeting with the sports minister Sunday Date

First of all, former vice president and two-decade-long Imo State FA chairman Amanze Uchegbulam announced his resignation from the election on Monday in a letter to the electoral committee, citing the court’s ruling.

In the letter, Uchegbulam stated, “I hereby formally bring to your notice of my intention, not to participate in the NFF elections set for September 30, 2022.

“In light of the well-publicized ruling issued by Hon. Justice I.E. Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja on September 15, 2022, halting the election while the substantive petition is underway.

“However, as a Law-abiding Citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I shall be available and participate in the election upon the order, being vacated or set aside or issues being resolved by the parties, to the knowledge of the Court and the public for the purpose, and same communicated to the aspirants accordingly by the electoral committee,” the candidate stated.

Immediately after the FCT FA Chairman and another presidential contender announced their decisions to obey the court’s order, Mouktar Mohammed hinted that the procedure to have the injunction lifted was already underway.

“The Minister of Sports was present at a gathering of stakeholders. The meeting is required to have a conversation about issues on because the Minister is the head of sports in Nigeria.

We anticipate the Electoral Committee to consider a few decisions that concern security agency advice. We are all aware that there is a court order. We will make sure of that because we are all law-abiding people. The court’s ruling may be overturned in the following days, but as law-abiding people, we will still abide by it.

“The conversation is still happening. There is still no resolution. We shall learn more over the coming few days. At the end of the day, we hope there will be a legitimate procedure that everyone can support and allow football to grow once more.

Amaju Pinnick was elected president of the NFF in 2014 despite a court injunction to suspend the election. His eight-year, two-term stint as president ended on September 20. The NFF elections’ future is uncertain, but football stakeholders are accustomed with such circumstances.

It is unclear whether the Pinnick-led NFF board will defy the court’s injunction once more to choose its new leadership in Benin City despite security threats against the polling place.


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