A sports law and consultancy company, SportHouse LP, has announced the termination of the contract between its client, Omoyele Tosin, and Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side, Enyimba FC, in what is a first of its kind action by a player.
According to a widely circulated letter on social media, addressed to the Enyimba chairman, Felix Anyansi, with the Nigeria Football Federation and League Management Company copied, Omoyele is said to be quitting Enyimba over two months unpaid wages.
“In two separate letters dated 7th January and 1st February the striker’s lawyer, T.C. Ujah, LL.D. had written management of Enyimba on the matter.
“The Termination Notice read RE: Unlawful failure to pay salaries to Mr Tosin Omoyele.
“We refer to our Default Notice to you dated 7 January 2022 (a copy of which is attached herewith), wherein Enyimba Football Club was put in default for unlawfully failing to pay our Client up to two monthly salaries on their due dates and issued a deadline of 15 days within which to comply with its financial obligations to our Client.
“Not only has Enyimba Football Club refused to respond to or acknowledge the said correspondence, but the club has also continuously and brazenly refused to fulfil its financial obligations to our Client, in a manner that is abusive, unfair, and unlawful.
“Under the extant laws and regulations, particularly the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, the current circumstances of the treatment meted out to our Client together with the refusal and failure to pay his monthly salaries and financial entitlements (now over two months) constitute just cause for the termination of the playing contract, for which Enyimba Football Club is liable.
“TAKE NOTICE, therefore, that our Client hereby formally terminates his contract with Enyimba Football Club, effective immediately.
“TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that his termination is without prejudice to all overdue payables, financial entitlements, and legal reliefs to which our Client is entitled.”
The termination means that Omoyele is now a free agent and his representatives can hold talks with any club in and out of Nigeria.
Article 9.45.3. of the League Management Company ‘Framework and rules of the NPFL’ states that “In order for a club to be considered to have overdue payables in the sense of the present article, the creditor (player or club) must have put the debtor club in default in writing and have granted a deadline of at least ten days for the debtor club to comply with its financial obligation(s).”
The rules appear to have been judiciously followed by Omoyele as his lawyers wrote to Enyimba on January 7, putting the club on notice, and the termination of Omoyele’s contract with immediate effect on February 1 can be said to be legally justifiable.
Enyimba officials contacted by PREMIUM TIMES declined comments on the issue, but a source at the club said Omoyele’s unpaid monies are punitive measures for alleged disciplinary breaches.
“I don’t think it is a function of the club being broke, the player is being punished for disciplinary issues,” a source at the Aba-based simply offered. PREMIUM TIMES is unable to verify these allegations.
‘We do confirm the authenticity of the letter.
“However, we are constrained from speaking publicly about the matter as it is still in the early stages and we are exploring legal options – given the uncertainties around the football dispute resolution system in Nigeria.
“Please accept our best regards.”
Omoyele, 25, came to prominence in 2019 when he played for Plateau United before moving to the Egyptian side, Nogoom FC, but he was back in the NPFL the next season to rejoin Plateau United.
He was a member of the home-based Eagles that failed to qualify for CHAN in 2021. He scored one goal for Enyimba and played in their last match against Katsina United in Aba last Sunday.
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