FORMER Super Eagles midfielder, Edema Fuludu, has explained why the Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria (PFAN) Task Force went to court to stop the elective congress of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) slated for September 30 in Benin City, Edo State.
Football-loving Nigerians were shocked yesterday following an order by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court 5, Abuja, which directed that the NFF’s September 30 Election be put on hold and that parties should maintain status quo. He adjourned further proceedings to October 31, 2022.
According to a statement by the chairman, PFAN Task Force, Harrison Jalla, Justice Inyang Ekwo gave the order at about 9.45 a.m. yesterday, while presiding over a matter in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1376/2022 between (1) Harrison Jalla, (2) Chief Rumson Victor Baribote, (3) Austin Popo, (4) The Registered trustees of the National Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF) (Trading under the name and style of Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria) (PFAN) VS (1) Nigeria Football Association (NFA) (Trading under the name and style of the Nigeria Football Federation) (NFF), (2) Amaju Pinnick, (3) Minister of Sports and Youth Development.
“The plaintiff approached the court in mid 2021 after due process, demanding an amendment to the NFF statutes 2010 for equal representation for all the five statutory bodies making up the Nigeria Football Federation in terms of voting rights and representation on the NFF board, its congress and Sub/Standing Committees.
“The court had earlier in the month of June 2022 hearing adjourned further proceedings in this matter to October 31, 2022. In between and in their usual characteristic manner of having no regards for the laws of the land, the defendants brazenly fixed election for September 30, 2022 in spite of an interlocutory application pending before the court. Consequently and ruling in an exparte application moved this morning by (1) Dr. Celsius Ukpong (2) Chief Rumson Victor Baribote and Fayeneniga Jacob, all representing the plaintiff, Justice Inyang Ekwo ordered the NFF September 30 Election to be put on hold and that parties should maintain status quo.” Jalla said.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, PFAN Task Force’s Secretary, Fuludu explained that failure by the various candidates aspiring to succeed Pinnick as president of the NFF to agree on their request for amendment of the statute after the election led to the court order.
He said: “For sometime now, we have been having meetings with the various candidates on the need to amend the statute. The plan is for any one that emerges president at the September 30 election to amend the statute as soon as he comes on board so that all stakeholders can have full representation in the NFF board.
“But nobody is willing to sign with us. In other words, we are not sure they will implement it after the election. Now, we have to ensure the statute is amended before we go into the election,” Fuludu stated.