The National Sports Commission, NSC, on Saturday in Abuja said Tuesday’s arrest of Aminu Maigari, a former Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, was unrelated to the association’s elections.
A statement by Patrick Omorodion, the Special Assistant on Media to the NSC Chairman, Tammy Danagogo, said Mr. Maigari’s arrest was in relation to the fire incident at the NFF secretariat.
The fire had gutted the Glass House secretariat of the association in Abuja on August 20, with the police still investigating its cause.
“The NSC wishes to put the records straight on the reason for the arrest of Maigari, the former NFA Chairman, last Tuesday in Abuja by men of the Directorate of State Security Services, DSS.
“Maigari, it could be recalled, was picked up by men of the DSS in Abuja shortly before the NFA Congress and some Nigerians had insinuated that he was arrested to prevent him from presiding over the Congress.
“It is however, on record that the former Acting Chairman of the NFA, Mike Umeh, had immediately after the fire outbreak said he suspected sabotage by ‘some people who are desperate to perpetuate themselves in power’ and called on the police to investigate the incident,” the statement said.
It said the arrest of Mr. Maigari and some other NFA officials by the DSS was part of its routine to investigate the fire incident and interrogate some suspects.
Mr. Maigari was arrested at the NFA electoral congress.
The statement said the move by the DSS would have been based on the report by NFF officials.
“Therefore, it has nothing to do with the NSC as is being erroneously insinuated. It is a fact that arson is a serious offence in Nigeria’s criminal law and anybody who is suspected to be involved, no matter how highly placed, must be investigated to verify his or her culpability or otherwise and appropriate sanction meted to such individual,” the NSC said.