A former Nigeria’s minister for Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has said the country will continue to witness stand-offs between the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the government over the NFF elections until the laws establishing the NFF is domesticated.
Dalung was speaking in Abuja at the public presentation of the book Sports Law and Practice, written by Emmanuel Oluwafemi Olowononi PhD, a Senior Lecturer, Nigerian Law School, Abuja, Nigeria.
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“This crisis will continue, unless and until a piece of legislation is made to define interests, limitations and boundaries for practitioners.
“What rules sports now is the opinion of men and then some pieces of international treaties smuggled in, like the FIFA Status they keep talking about.
The Plateau state-born administrator also goes ahead to tear the FIFA status into shreds.
“FIFA status as far as I’m concerned is just a piece of worthless paper. Because the constitution provides that for an international treaty to have the force of law in Nigeria, it must be domesticated by the national assembly.
“As I’m talking to you, the national assembly has not domesticated the FIFA law and yet we practice sports in Nigeria with a legislation our local system is not known to.
“So, this crisis about elections will continue, because whether a president will spend how many terms has been drawn by law. Limitation of tenure is already in the constitution.
“So, if the Nigerian constitution has limited tenure to two terms, why do you have people with life terms in national federations? That is a contradiction to the spirit of our national constitution.
“While I was there, I limited the tenures to two terms to bring it in conformation with our constitution, but I’m not there now, so I don’t know what is happening,” Dalung said.
The government is currently having a battle with the NFF concerning its elections.
The sports minister, Sunday Dare, is insisting that elections must be held in September but the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, who is rumoured to be eyeing a third-term bid is reported to be manipulating the process.
The book, Sports Law and Practice, is the first of its kind in Nigeria and it is a product of 10 year’s legal research by Olowononi.