Former Nigeria Football Federation president Aminu Maigari could be barred from contesting the federation’s presidential election in Katsina on Thursday after he was given a provisional clearance by the NFF Electoral Committee.
Under-pressure incumbent president Amaju Pinnick is seeking reelection, with former Secretary-General of the body Taiwo Ogunjobi and Chinedu Okoye other contestants bidding to lead Nigerian football.
The electoral committee headed by Muhammed Katu said in a statement on Wednesday they received petitions from Chuma Onye (on September 14) and Ahmed Shuaibu (on September 17) claiming that Maigari submitted forged certificates during the screening of candidates for the election.
The statement read, “During the screening, the electoral committee discovered the discrepancies in the certificate presented by Maigari, who is vying for the post of president of the NFF.
“However, the committee couldn’t reach a unanimous decision on whether to disqualify him or not, hence the need to resort to voting.
“During the voting, three out of five members of the electoral committee voted in favour of him being cleared and allowed to participate in the election.
“This led to the inclusion of his name on the list of the cleared candidates.”
Katu said the committee forwarded a copy of Onye’s petition to Maigari on September 14 directing him to appear before the committee on or before September 17 to clear himself.
He said, “Maigari received the letter and informed the committee through a phone call to the chairman of his desire to appear before the committee on September 15.
“He honoured the invitation on the said date and further undertook to produce the originals of the said documents for verification and clarification on or before September 17.
“However, as at September 18, Maigari failed to produce the said original documents.”
He said the committee decided to withdraw the clearance issued to Maigari to contest the election and replaced it with a provisional clearance after “ the two Grade three certificates which were attached to the petitions are indeed not the same both in substance and in content with each other, in fact, they are contradictory.”
All efforts made by our correspondent to reach the former Bauchi State FA boss for his comments were unsuccessful as he neither answered calls made to his mobile nor respond to the text message sent to him as of press time.
However, an online report claimed that Magari had rejected the provisional clearance, saying he would appeal.
“The decision of the electoral committee is unacceptable after I was cleared to run for the election,” SCORENigeria quoted him as saying on Wednesday.
“I believe that there is a deadline for the hearing of petitions, not just few hours to the elections.”
He added, “I have my original certificates fully supported by all the necessary documentation and they are available for anyone who cares to examine them.”
Incumbent 1st vice-president Seyi Akinwunmi faces a battle to retain his post as he will be challenged by Sunday Dele-Ajayi.
The battle for the Chairman of Chairmen position is between Ibrahim Gusau and Ifeanyi Ubah.
The run-up to the NFF election has been marred by controversies, with some moves made by some persons to scuttle the exercise through legal action.
FIFA observers for the election are Luca Piazza and Solomon Mudege. – Punch
– Sept. 20, 2018 @ 9:32 GMT |