– As Keyamo declares Dalung’s action null and void
– Giwa: Nigeria not signatory to FIFA statutes
Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The federal government Monday sacked Amaju Pinnick as the President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) after it directed the executive committee headed by him to adhere to the judgment of the Supreme Court of April 27, 2018, which brought back the orders of the Federal High Court, that reserved the September 30, 2014, election into the Executive Committee of the football.A declaration
by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, stated the directive followed a written notification signed by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) asking for the sports ministry to guarantee compliance.It is believed that the sack of the board headed by Pinnick was a fallout of Nigeria’s miserable trip at the continuous FIFA World Cup in Russia, where the Super Eagles cannot advance to the Round of 16.
The Supreme Court order as interpreted by Malami, ordered Dalung to reinstate Ambassador Chris Giwa, who purportedly won the parallel election held on August 26, 2014.
International football body, FIFA has chosen not to acknowledge Giwa as the chosen president and may now sanction Nigeria, causing a restriction from all worldwide football competitors as the federal government action is deemed as interference.A statement signed Monday by Nneka Ikem Anibeze, the Unique Assistant to Dalung, said the directive to get rid of Pinnick was sequel to the relief given by Justice M. H. Kurya of the Federal High Court Jos on July 5, 2018 in the fit in between Yahaya Adama Vs Alhaji Aminu Maigari that Giwa be offered recognition pending the hearing and decision of the movement on notification asking that ban of the people elected into the board on August 26, 2014, from football activities of the NFF must be declared unconstitutional, null and void.” It is trite law that court orders are sacrosanct and any acts of
disobedience to it constitutes risk to the rule of law. Following upon the above, you are thus encouraged to abide by the orders of court made therein which for now, is the legitimate and binding order of court, in the absence of other subsisting order or judgment to the contrary,” Dalung said.The minister consequently directed the celebrations included to adhere to the court order, saying:”This is a court order and not from Dalung. I will not wish to go to Kuje prison due to the fact that of disobedience of court orders. Therefore, I thus abide by the court orders of June 5th, 2018, while Mr. Amaju Pinnick and others are also directed to adhere to same.”With the momentum now in his favour, after stopped working effort to have the September 30, 2014 election overturned
by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) Giwa, barnstormed the NFF”Glasshouse “with his board members under heavy authorities security Friday afternoon before visiting Dalung later on in the day.The Supreme Court order compels Dalung, the defendants, their servants, representatives and privies howsoever, the Inspector General of Authorities (IG )and all police to forthwith implement the orders made by the court on September 19, 2014 and October 23, 2014 and give recognition to the General Assembly meeting and election of the NFF held on August 26, 2014 Giwa’s pending the hearing and determination of the movement on notice.Meanwhile, in a speed of lightning, the counsel to the embattled Pinnick, Festus Keyamo, in a statement to reflect his official position on government directive, berated Dalung and advised the general public to overlook his newest directive as prohibited and of no effect.Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria(SAN ), stated:” The attention of our customers have been drawn to a statement purportedly provided at the request of Dalung directing the NFF to comply with particular court orders effecting a modification of management
in the NFF. “Our customers want to alert the public and the authorities in Nigeria that the so-called directive by the Minister of Sports is null, void and of no effect for the following factors. While our clients respect the sanctity of court orders, regrettably the stated court orders are not binding on FIFA, the World Football Administration. The NFF is an affiliate of FIFA. It should be kept in mind that FIFA has regularly preserved that this exact same matter has been taken to the highest Court of Sports Arbitration in Switzerland by these same people and they have lost. FIFA is just bound by the choice of the Court of Arbitration for Sports and does not amuse or endure choices by local courts in footballing countries worldwide. FIFA has considering that supported the decision of the Court of Arbitration on this matter and recognised the NFF board led by Pinnick. Nigeria has a duty to abide by that decision. In addition, for the indiscretion of those people like Giwa to approach the local courts, FIFA has actually since enforced an around the world ban on them from all footballing activities.The outcome is that Giwa and his so-called board members do not have any locus standi with concerns to footballing matters and the federal government can not have any dealing with them on any footballing matter.”