Giwa Takes Control Of NFF As Dalung Asks Pinnick To Obey Court Order

Giwa Takes Control Of NFF As Dalung Asks Pinnick To Obey Court Order

 

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.

READ ALSO: NFF Leadership: Supreme Court Sets Aside Appeal Court Judgement

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.

Mr Chris Giwa with some officials at the NFF Secretariat in Abuja on July 2, 2018. // Twitter – @niyi7busari

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.

Africa To Get More Space In FIFA Competitions – Pinnick

pinnickPresident of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr Amaju Pinnick, says plans are ongoing to get more space for African teams in FIFA competitions.

The newly elected executive member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) confirmed that the number of teams in CAF competitions would also be increased.

On the development of football in Nigeria, he gave assurance that Nigerian referees would be given their pride of place in the comity of nations during his tenure.

Mr Pinnick made the remarks when he visited the Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, in Asaba, the state’s capital.

He thanked Governor Okowa for his support in the development of human resources in the state, south-south Nigeria.

“l am in the state to say a big thank you to you and the people of the state for your encouragement and support for my election,” the NFF President said.

Governor Okowa, on his part assured Pinnick that his administration remains committed to the development of human resources and sports infrastructure in Nigeria.

He congratulated the NFF President on his election into the CAF Executive Committee, and his appointment into the FIFA Organising Committee.

“We give glory to God for your success in your election. I believe that when God has blessed a process to be, no one can stop it. I want to urge you to continue to look up to God and stay committed to your duty as you move on.

“We as a state look forward to greater things that will come your way but be rest assured that we will continually give the best of our support. We are confident in your ability and understanding of the game of football and we believe that you will perform very well.

“Always look up to God and stay committed as you move up in sports administration. We pray that God will guide you to remain focused in carrying out your new functions; when you progress, Delta State is progressing,” he said.

Repairing Nigerian Football Is A Major Task – Pinnick

Nigerian FootballThe President of the Nigerian Football Federation, NFF, Mr Amaju Pinnick says his election was divinely scripted and he would therefore depend on the Almighty for the task of fixing the game.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, Pinnick noted that identifying the problems in the Federation and creating an environment of peace and stability would be the first task to embark on.

He stated that he was aware of how bad things were in the organisation before venturing into leading it and therefore did not expect to have things easy but he was ready for the challenge.

“I came at a time when there is so much turbulence, bickering, animosity, hatred in the system. So its not going to be something very rosy or easy, but prayerfully, tactfully we are going to do what we want to do.”

He revealed that one of the major sources of problems in the NFF, asides the deep seated emotional bitterness, is the politics of exclusion.

He, however, expressed joy that some top people have started extending hands of fellowship to him including those who ran against him in the race to the NFF Presidency, like Amanze Uchegbulam.

“Repairing Nigerian Football is a major task,” he said.

Pinnick also emphasized the need to create an environment for potential partners to wish to identify with the Federation, noting that it would be important for the NFF to build trust especially among corporate organisations.

“We are going to create a platform for them to see that we are very serious.”

Pinnick itemised a number of steps his team would take in order to build the confidence in corporate organisations, “where people know that their brand name will not be tainted”.

Sustainable football culture is Pinnick’s priority and he warned that this would mean Nigerians have to make sacrifices as regards their constant quest for winning trophies, as there must be long, medium and long term goals.

He explained the plan to create a technical study group under the NFF technical department, which would go round the country to select genuinely young and talented players quarterly for transfer to developmental leagues abroad.

He explained that this would not be for them to be put under the pressure of winning at all cost for the Golden Eaglets or Flying Eagles but they would be trained to have the mentality of seeing themselves as future Super Eagles.

Pinnick linked the successes recorded by Germany in recent years to a similar approach with he said also gives him the assurance that “Germany is going to dominate for the next eight years.”

Pinnick also noted that his strategy was based on a similar template which he has worked and succeeded with, citing the Blessing Okagbare success as an example of how to build sustainable development which he assured would eventually yield results.

He also played up his experiences working at the world football governing body, FIFA, and the progression from that and rising gradually to the top of football administration in Delta State as quality antecedents that give him the confidence that same successes can be achieved with the NFF.

Keshi’s Contract

On the employment status of Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, Pinnick noted that the Eagles Coach remains a hero who must be accorded the respect of one, having won the African Cup of Nations as a player and as a coach.Nigerian Football

He noted that although he had made comments in the past that “Keshi has reached his limit and he needs to build his capacity” the recommendation of the technical arm of the NFF would be considered.

“I believe in due diligence, going through a due process. The technical department will come up with a comprehensive report about Keshi, submit it to the technical committee, they look at it and give it to the board.

“The board will now make a decision based on those reports, but I can assure you we are not going to do anything that is against the interest of Nigerians.”

Pinnick would not give a categorical statement on the future of Keshi with the Super Eagles, but hinted that “if Keshi is going to stay we will help him” explaining how he intends to do this.

He also noted that the priority of the board would not just be Keshi but also the training of other Nigerian coaches and referees, as improving the level of officiating in Nigeria, and having a Nigerian referee feature at the next World Cup is one of his targets.

He appealed to Nigerians to be patient, promising, “We are going to give you what you’ve never seen before.”