By Jacob Ajom
The executive committee of the Nigeria Olympic Committee rose fromÂ its pre-electionÂ meeting and announced that the Minister of Sports and chairman of the National Sports Commission, Engineer Sani Nadanusa, had been disqualified from contesting for the NOC presidency in the Decembe
r 9 election.
Announcing the ministerâ€™s disqualification after the meeting, spokesman for the NOC and candidate in the forthcoming election, Tony Nezianya, said Engineer Ndanusa did not meet the requirements as stipulated by the NOC constitution. Ndanusa was disqualified alongside four others.
The other disqualified aspirants are retired Navy Captain Babatunde Adedimeji who was aspiring for the post of secretary general, Professor Olakitan de Souza, alsoÂ for secretary general position, Honourable Bappa Aliyu contesting for the assistant secretay and Olu Amadasun who wanted to contest for the post of public relations officer.
Justifying the disqualification of Ndanusa, the NOC spokesman said the minister had not fulfilled article 26(1.2) which states inter aliaÂ â€œThe candidate for the presidency of the NOC must have served in an executive position or the level of a commission of an international federation, continental confederation or the CGF for a period of at least four years.â€
Nezianya said although the minister was the first vice president of the Cofederation of African Tennis, he had stayed there for only two years.
Said Nezianya, â€œÂ it has been confirmed that Engineer Ndanusa was elected as the first Vice President of the Confederation of African Tennis only on June 20th 2007 in Tunisia and does not meet the mandatory four years required.â€
As if the entire verification exercise was targeted at the NSC Chairman, the NOC picked holes in Ndanusaâ€™s election as President of the Nigeria Tennis Federation, pointing out that the minister contested the election in absentia which was a clear contravention of International Olympic Committee charter..
â€œAs far as the NOC is concerned, his election into the board of Lawn Tennis Federation was irregular and inconsistent,â€ Nezianya said, adding that the â€œNOC is suspending the NTF from all NOC activities until fresh elections are conducted.â€
They added that the decision would be communicated to the International Tennis Federation, African Tennis Confederation and other relevant bodies.
Thirteen candidates were cleared for the December 9 election which holds in Dutse, Jigawa State. They include, Engineer Habu Gumel, gunning for his third term as president of the NOC, Chief Jonathan Nnaji and Dr Lanre Glover for First Vice President, Austin Udeze and Solomon Ogba for the second vice, Tijani Umar for third vice president,,Banji Oladapo, Secretary General while Tony Ubani, Tony Nezianya and Patrick Ukah are contesting for the post of public relations officer.Meanwhile, one of the disqualified candidates, Honourable Bappa Aliyu has opted to take his case to court for redress.