Nigeria’s FIFA Suspension: Court workers’ strike stalls controversial suit

Aminu Maigari

The Maigari-led NFF have been restrained from presiding over football affairs.

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The nationwide strike embarked upon by Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, has stalled the hearing of the case restraining the Aminu Maigari-led Nigerian Football Federation, NFF, from presiding over the nation’s football affairs.

The case is the genesis of Nigeria’s suspension by the world football governing body, FIFA.

A Jos High Court, headed by Justice Philomena Lot, on July 3, had given an injunction restraining the Maigari-led NFF from leading the football body, pending the hearing of substantive suit against the body.

A proprietor of Nembe City FC, Ebiakpo Baribote, had prayed the court to restrain Mr. Maigari and other NFF members from presiding over football affairs, after accusing them of unwholesome practices.

Specifically, Mrs. Baribote accused the Maigari-led NFF of “financial secrecy and manipulation of NFF statutes to suit their selfish interests.”

Mrs. Baribote asked the court to restrain Mr. Maigari from further controlling and managing the affairs of all football matters in Nigeria pending the hearing of the motion on notice for the interlocutory injunction filed before the court.

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

However, the court could not sit because of the strike.

Mr. Maigari and some members of his executive council were in Jos to personally attend the hearing but were disappointed as the strike stalled the hearing.

Justice Lot’s order had prompted the Minister of Sport, Tammy Danagogo, to direct Lawrence Katken to act as Sole Administrator/General Secretary of NFF to avoid a vacuum.

During an extraordinary meeting of the congress of NFF held on Saturday, July 5, in Abuja, NFF congress members, comprising club proprietors and other stakeholders, had endorsed the suspension.

The congress further endorsed the appointment of Mr. Katken as Acting Secretary-General of the NFF.

The development had caused the world soccer governing body, FIFA, to suspend Nigeria from participating in international competitions.

The world soccer body gave Nigeria up till Monday, July 14, to resolve the issues or face stiffer penalties.

(NAN)


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