Elections for the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), which were supposed to take place in Benin tomorrow, could not go as planned. This is because the Federal Government stated in a statement yesterday that the participants in the election should obey the court decision temporarily pausing the voting process while it continues to review the legal procedures.
The Federal Government urged stakeholders in Nigerian football to “remain calm and abide by the court order, by not doing anything or taking any further steps, particularly with regard to the NFF elections scheduled for Friday, September 30, 2022, in Benin” in a statement signed by Manga Mohammed, Director, Press and Public Relations.
The advise was allegedly given in Abuja by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ismaila Abubakar, who also said: “The ministry is not ignorant to the current developments involving the elective congress of NFF, which, ordinarily had been slated to take place on September 2022.
The Federal High Court’s Hon. Justice I.E. Ekwo issued an order on September 15, 2022, directing all parties—including the NFF and the Minister of Youth and Sports Development—to maintain the status quo ante until the court’s final order. “The ministry is also aware of this court order,” the statement continued.
The Permanent Secretary reportedly also counseled all of the case’s defendants to follow the judge’s ruling.
It said: “Flowing from the above order of the 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 under reference, the Minister 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 be or could be interpreted to amount to disobedience to a lawful court order or contempt of court. ”
According to the Permanent Secretary, the NFF is known to the general public as the NFA (NFA ACT 2004), one of the parastatals that fall under the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
Additionally, he stated that the “Ministry is analyzing all procedures served on it on this lawsuit and will take appropriate steps or action to defend itself within the parameters allowed by the law of our land.
Therefore, as the government looks for a solution, “Stakeholders in the Nigeria football family are advised to stay peaceful and law-abiding.”