Mr Chris Giwa has taken over control of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) as fresh crisis rocks the nation’s football governing body.
This followed a directive from the Minister of Sports and Youths, Mr Solomon Dalung, who asked Mr Amaju Pinnick to comply with a court order and step aside as the NFF President.
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In a statement by his special adviser on media, Nneka Anibeze, on Monday, the minister said the directive followed a written notification from the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, requesting the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports to ensure compliance with the court rulings on the matter.
Dalung said, ‘I have been directed to notify you of the orders dated June 5, 2018 made by Honorable Justice M. H. Kurya sitting at the Federal High Court, Jos, in respect of the above mentioned suit between Yahaya Adama Vs Alhaji Aminu Maigari which states that the election of the NFF held on August 26, 2014, under the leadership of Amb Chris Giwa be given recognition pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed in this case and that the purported ban of the Executive Committee elected on August 26, 2014, from football activities of the NFF is unconstitutional, null and void.”
“It is trite law that court orders are sacrosanct and any acts of disobedience to it constitutes threat to the rule of law. Consequent upon the above, you are hereby advised to comply with the orders of court made therein which for now, is the valid and binding order of court, in the absence of any other subsisting order or judgment to the contrary,” he added.
Hours after the statement, Giwa, who has since insisted that he is the duly elected president of the NFF, arrived at the NFF headquarters amid heavy security operatives to take control of the body.
It has been a legal tussle since Pinnick assumed office as the NFF President in 2014.
After a series of court rulings, the Supreme Court set aside the judgement of the Court of Appeal in Jos, Plateau State, on the discontinuation of the case on the leadership tussle in the football body.
The appeal court had held in 2016 that the case could no longer be relisted before the Federal High Court, having been earlier withdrawn by the appellants.
But a five-man panel led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, unanimously set aside the judgment of the appellate court in late April 2018 and sent the case back to the Federal High Court where the trial started in 2014.
Giwa and some other persons had approached the Federal High Court, Jos, on September 19, 2014, arguing that the Pinnick-led executive was not the authentic NFF executive elected on August 26, 2014.