NFF crisis: Keyamo warns, says FIFA hammer imminent
Festus Keyamo (SAN), the counsel for the Nigeria Football Federation, on Wednesday said Nigeria was at the risk of a FIFA ban following the latest developments in the NFF.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a Jos court failed to deliver judgement on the case between the embattled NFF President Amaju Pinnick and his challenger Chris Giwa.
The four year-old case was expected to be resolved at the Federal High Court in Jos, Plateau State on Tuesday but it was adjourned to Sept. 25.
Pinnick has been the NFF president since 2014 but a Supreme Court ruling two weeks ago gave Giwa the mandate, and he has since assumed office.
Justice Musa Kurta, the Presiding Judge in the case between Yahaya Adama and Aminu Maigari, had, on June 5, given an ex-perte order granted Giwa and others, pending the determination of an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case.
Instead of finally resolving the case, drama ensued on Tuesday as both sets of lawyers failed to agree on certain processes and Justice Kurye adjourned to Sept. 25, as he noted that the court was on vacation.
Keyamo told NAN in an interview that an imminent ban loomed for Nigerian football if the right steps were not taken by the parties involved.
“The grave implication of the adjournment and failure to resolve this case is that Giwa will continue to claim leadership of the NFF in defiance of his lack of recognition by FIFA and the global body could ban the country.
“The only NFF leadership recognised by FIFA is the one headed by Pinnick, who is also the Vice-president of the Confederation of African Football.
“I have pointed out to the court that the FIFA hammer is imminent. Let us not pretend that this is not happening.
“This is not for myself, Pinnick or Giwa but for the future of our country. It is for the future of our children who earn a daily living from football.
“The loss and catastrophe will be so colossal that even our local league will be affected. So, I am just sounding a note of caution to everyone involved that the earlier we disposed of this, the better,” he said.
He noted that FIFA had already reacted in a letter written to NFF, stressing that the world football governing body did not mince words in the letter.
“It clearly stated that what is happening in Nigeria is seen as an interference in the affairs of football because the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) had decisively given its verdict on this matter.
“Giwa and Co. lost in CAS and were given a worldwide ban and as such FIFA noted in the last paragraph of the letter that if the case was not rescinded, it could lead to severe sanctions on Nigerian football,” he said.
On the issue of the appearance of a new counsel, Samuel Shankyula, who announced that he now defends Maigari and Ahmadu with an affidavit deposed to the effect, the Senior Advocate said: “We are going to confer with our clients with regards to the latest developments in the case.