Pinnick’s NFF takes over office – Official

NFF Chairman, Amaju Pinnick
NFF Chairman, Amaju Pinnick

The embattled Amaju Pinnick faction of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has been restored to office, following a directive from the federal government.

The general secretary of NFF, Muhammed Sanusi, spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) from his office in Abuja on Monday.

“I am back to my office to assume my legal responsibilities with a clearance from the government,” he said.

Also a source who spoke on condition of anonymity told NAN that the NFF President would also resume his post after his assignments abroad.

“I can assure you that the president will also resume his duties soon,” he said.

NAN reports that the seemingly unending leadership crisis of the NFF took a new turn on July 2, when the Chris Giwa faction took over the glass house secretariat of the NFF citing a court judgment.

The minister of youth and sports, Solomon Dalung, had earlier ordered that the NFF should comply with the Supreme Court judgment that overturned the September 30, 2014 election of NFF president, Amaju Pinnick.

The court also ordered that the status quo be maintained at the Glass House.

Mr Dalung said the directive followed a written notification by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, requesting the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports to ensure compliance.

The development has since prompted FIFA president Gianni Infantino to warn that Nigeria risked being made to face the sanctions the world governing body may apply.

However, Mr Giwa said his assumption of office was in line with the ruling of the court on June 5, 2018.

He claimed that the court had annulled the parallel election held in Warri by Mr Pinnick and subsequently upheld his election as the substantive chairman.

NAN reports that the atmosphere at the NFF secretariat, Wuse Zone 7, on Monday was calm as staff went about their duties.

A number of State Security Service (SSS) officials, who were reported to have taken over the premises some minutes earlier, were also seen on duty.

“I am back to my office, and the Pinnick-led board is back,’’ Mr Sanusi told NAN.

“When the DSS officials came in, they refused to allow anyone to enter the premises. But I came in and spoke with the staff and urged them to be law-abiding.

“I told them to bear in mind that they are civil servants and should not get involved in the politics. Thereafter, I ushered all into their offices and everyone is going about their duties,’’ he added.

Asked if he could see if there was a contradiction in federal government’s actions on the matter, Mr Sanusi said: “I don’t think that there is any contradiction in government’s actions in this matter.

“If government had given directives (earlier), we would not have been where we are’’.

He however assured that the situation was not going to affect the development and organisation of football in the country.

“By the grace of God, we are going to do everything humanly possible to move the game forward, and I have always said that honesty is the best policy.

“Whatever you are doing, you have to stand by the truth because posterity will judge you’’.

(NAN)

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