By Fidelis Ebu
FOUR of the 16 contestants in the elections into positions on the board of the Nigeria Premier League have been confirmed disqualified by the Electoral Committee on Friday.
The candidates who were not invited for the screening includedÂ Lumumba Adeh, a former chairmanship aspirant into the Nigeria Football Association, and former Rangers International player, Dominic Nwobodo.
Others are outgoing NPL board member and former Enugu State Sports Commissioner, Barrister Ray Nnaji and former Shooting Stars FC Chairman, Elder Bode Oyewole.
Remarkably, 19 candidates had obtained nomination forms for the board and chairmanship elections scheduled for March 3 to March 4 in Abuja.
But while 16 of them returned their forms before the February 12 deadline, only 12 were cleared for screening by the committee, with six of them invited for the first phase screening.
Those screened on Friday included Joe Amene and Brigadier-Geneneral Emmanuel Okaro (rtd.) from the South-East zone, Alhaji Abdullahi Danbaba and Malam Farouk Yarma from the North-East zone.
The rest are Alhaji Abdulrasaq Owolabi from the North-Central zone andÂ Akin Akinbobola from the South-West zone.
Tony Rafua, chairman of the Electoral Committee, while explaining the screening process on Friday, said all candidatesâ€™ forms and documents were properly examined.
â€œWe had the co-operation of all the aspirants, there was no crisis and it was a friendly exercise. We have even given all of them room to look at and respond to all the petitions received against them,â€™â€™ he said.Speaking on the disqualified candidates, Rafua said forms submitted by Oyewole, Adeh and Nwobodo did not meet basic requirements as they were only nominated but not endorsed by another club in their respective zones.
â€œEven on the issue of nomination, no club endorsed Adehâ€™s form, while it was a wrong person that nominated Nwobodo, and this was against the election guidelines. â€œIn the case of Oyewole, he got nominated by a club, but he was not endorsed by another club, while Nnajiâ€™s form was submitted late.
Rafua disclosed that the second phase of the screening exercise is scheduled for Wednesday, February 24 at the same venue. This will be for candidates for elections into the posts of Chairman of Club Chairmen, board Vice-Chairman and board Chairman.
â€œWe are expecting Davidson Owumi andÂ Abdulazeez Mohammed to be screened for the post of Chairman of Chairmen, and Alhaji Shehu Gusau for the Vice-Chairmanship post. â€œChief Rumson Baribote, Dr Sam Jaja and Davidson Owumi again will all be screened for their interest in the chairmanship position,â€™â€™ he said.