Dalung dumps Giwa as lawmakers back Pinnick-led NFF
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Dalung dumps Giwa as lawmakers back Pinnick-led NFF



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Despite speculations in many quarters that controversial club owner, Chris Giwa, enjoys powerful support from the Sports Ministry, the Minister of Youth and sports, Solomon Dalung on Thursday in Abuja stated that there was no time any court asked club owner Chris Giwa to take over the operations of the Nigeria Football Federation.

Giwa who has been having a running court battle with the Nigeria Football Federation board, is laying claim to the NFF presidency having secured a court ruling declaring the 2015 Warri Congress that produced the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF board illegal.

But Dalung while speaking during an interactive session between the House Committee of Sports and the top officials of the NFF led by vice president, Shehu Dikko, said: “When the Giwa group served a notice of discontinuance to the court in October 2014, the court struck out the case and made it clear that the case was dead. I don’t know anyone else who has been able to raise the dead except Jesus Christ!

“What the court did on April 8 was simply to re-list the case for hearing. It did not sack the NFF Board and certainly did not ask Giwa to go and take over the NFF.”

A lot of football stakeholders had in the past faulted the Sports Minister for giving Giwa the platform and support to resurrect a dead and futile case.

At Thursday’s session, Dalung, the Director of Legal Services in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, Olatigbe Johnson, and NFF’s Head of Legal, Okey Obi, fully established that there was currently no court order nullifying the election of the Pinnick-led NFF board.

Dikko noted that there were clear channels for dispute resolution apart from the ordinary courts. He noted that Mr. Giwa had taken his case to the highest sports court – Court of Arbitration for Sports– and lost.

“If he had won at CAS, everyone in the Nigeria football family would have been obliged to submit to him. He lost. So, he should respect football rules and wait for the next elections.

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“Some of the persons who took part in the ‘elections’ where Giwa claims to have been ‘elected’, also participated in the Warri elections that brought in Amaju Pinnick! Yet, some of them are strangely clinging to a ‘mandate’ supposedly given them alongside Giwa.”

Dikko also referred to recent cases involving Egypt and Benin Republic, saying that the threat of a ban looms large.

“FIFA recently slammed a two–year ban on Benin Republic from all competitions because some persons went to court and stopped the elections.

“We have the case in Egypt where some persons went to court against elections that were conducted in 2012, and the court gave a ruling that the Minister of Sports should dissolve the Executive Committee. The Minister of Sports in Egypt has refused to do that because he knows the consequences.”

However Article 68.2 of the FIFA Statutes states: “Recourse to ordinary courts of law is prohibited unless specifically provided for in the FIFA regulations. Recourse to ordinary courts for all types of provisional measures is also prohibited.”



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