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What will FIFA say?: Court sacks NFF board, govt. appoints Sole Administrator

By News Express on 04/07/2014

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Barely a week after the ouster of the Super Eagles from the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, a High Court sitting in Jos, has restrained the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Aminu Maigari and members of the Executive Committee of the NFF from running the affairs of the federation pending the determination of a motion on notice before the court.

The restraining order was granted by Justice P.L. Lot in respect of a motion initiated by Mrs Ebiakpo Rumson Baribote, owner of Nembe FC asking the court to restrain Maigari from further controlling and managing the affairs of all football matters in Nigeria pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice for Interlocutory Injunction filed before the court.

The unfolding development is particularly disturbing as it was coming a month before the NFF Congress in Abuja where Maigari and most members of the current executive committee are expected to stand for reelection. It is clearly a danger signal for Nigerian football as world football governing body FIFA does not take kindly to the taking of football matters to court.

Reacting to Justice Lot’s order, Sports Minister Tammy Danagogo has directed Lawrence Katken to act with immediate effect as the Sole Administration/Secretary General of NFF. This is another danger signal as FIFA does not tolerate government interference in football administration.  

Katken, who speaks fluent Portuguese and is from Cross River State, is one of the highest ranking officials at the Glass House.

Danagogo letter to him reads: “Further to Suit No. PLD/J 342/2014 and an order of mandatory injunction, issuing from Hon. Justice PL Lot . . . you (Lawrence Katiken) are hereby directed to act as Secretary General of the NFF, and to take over the full management of the NFF. You are to hold this position pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice in the referenced suit.”

Justice Lot has fixed July 11 for hearing on the substantive suit.

Maigari, who assumed office in August 2010, has been severally unsettled by many court orders on basis of motions initiated by many disgruntled parties challenging the legality of his election.

But he has always weathered the storm because he is recognised by FIFA which is always not comfortable with football disputes being brought before civil courts of competent jurisdiction.

The latest turn of events brings to mind what happened after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, culminating in the ouster of the then NFF Board headed by Sani Lulu by Maigari and his team.

•Partly based on a THISDAY report. Photo shows sacked NFF Chairman Aminu Maigari.

Source News Express

Posted 04/07/2014 3:49:36 PM


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