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NFF elections: FG asks football stakeholders to respect court order

The Federal Government on Wednesday in Abuja urged stakeholders in the Nigerian football family to remain calm and abide by a September 15 order of…

The Federal Government on Wednesday in Abuja urged stakeholders in the Nigerian football family to remain calm and abide by a September 15 order of the Federal High Court.

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had scheduled Friday in Benin for the elections to the 2022 to 2026 NFF Executive Committee.

However, Ismaila Abubakar, Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, in a statement, said the Federal Government wanted the stakeholders “not to do anything, or take any further steps particularly, as regards the elections”.

He said the Ministry was not oblivious of recent developments concerning the NFF Elective Congress which ordinarily had been scheduled for Friday.

“The Ministry is also aware of the Federal High Court order, by Justice I.E. Ekwo on Sept. 15, whereby the Court had directed all parties, including NFF and the Minister of Youth and Sports Development to maintain status quo ante pending the final Order of Court.”

The Permanent Secretary said the office of the Minister of Youth and Sports Development would abide by and obey the court order, and advised all stakeholders to do the same.

“Following from the Order of Court, which had also been served on the Office of the Minister of Youth and Sports Development as Third Defendant in the case under reference, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development will obey and abide by the Court Order.

“The Minister hereby advises all other Defendants in this case, including the NFF, to abide by the Order of Court by not doing anything or taking any further step(s), particularly as regards NFF elections, which will be or could be interpreted to amount to disobedience to lawful Court Order or Contempt Of Court.”

Abubakar reminded football stakeholders that it was also in the public domain that the NFF, known under Nigeria’s existing laws as NFA (NFA ACT 2004), is one of the parastatals under the Ministry.

He added that the Ministry was studying all processes served on it concerning the court case, and would take appropriate steps or action to defend itself within the context permitted by the country’s laws.

“Stakeholders in the Nigerian football family are therefore urged to remain calm and law-abiding as the Ministry seeks a resolution”.

The court order was a sequel to a move by the Task Force of the Professional Footballers of Nigeria (PFAN). (NAN)