BY JUDE OPARA, Abuja
The drama going on in the Nigerian football ahead of the August 26 election into the executive committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) took a different dimension yesterday when the electoral committee saddled with the responsibility of conducting the elections disqualified the acting president of the NFF, Chief Mike Umeh and the former chairman of the technical committee of the federation, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi.
Addressing the media in Abuja, chairman of the committee, Amoni Biambo said the case of Umeh was rather complicated because apart from the fact that there was no receipt attached to his form, he also bought the form for a vice president but latter submitted that of a president. He was also said to have submitted his form late on August 8 as against the deadline of August 4.
“Let me explain here that we are here to do a job not minding who is involved and if heaven is going to fall on us let it fall on us, if they are going to throw us out of this committee so be it. I will give you his own case briefly, but not indicting him, no receipt for the purchase of forms, the candidate purchased the nomination form for the post of 1st vice president but submitted same for the post of president and the nomination form was submitted on 11th August 2014, after the closing date of 10th July and extension granted everybody on 4th of August 2014. On the nomination form submitted, the date on affidavit is 8th August, 2014 which collaborates the late submission of the form. The candidate is hereby disqualified” Biambo insisted.
But in the case of Chief Ogunjobi, the electoral committee argued that since he was still serving the lengthy ban slammed on him by the NFF by the time the screening exercise was going on, he remains not cleared for the election.
Also another presidential aspirant and former international, Chief Segun Ogunjobi was equally not cleared on the grounds that his nomination form was not endorsed by anybody including the chairman of his state FA and two from any other zone. His from was also said not have been accompanied by the receipt for the purchase and was submitted late on 10th August, 2014.
However, the committee cleared the suspended member of the board, Ahmed Yusuf, Fresh to contest as a board member because his suspension has not been in effect by the time the screening exercise was still going on.
Biambo also threatened that that if at any point there are moves by anybody from any quarter to influence the outcome of the screening, he and the entire members of his committee will resign because according to him, they all have meaningful means of livelihood.
The electoral committee chairman regretted that the country has been reduced to a situation where after every tenure of the board there will be crisis even as he advised that those who genuinely want to impact on Nigerian football should be patient and wait for the next four years to contest again.
A total number of 60 forms were printed of which 25 people purchased while 24 returned their forms for screening while the impeached president, Alhaji Aminu Maigari who earlier purchased a form did not submit again.
Biambo equally took a swipe at some three categories of stakeholders whom he said have been giving his committee headache with some even threatening them with all manners of actions including dissolving them.
“There are three categories of stakeholders in the football family who have made life very difficult for us. We have been threatened, some say they will dissolve the committee because their script was not being played. They are the former board that was in existent, the present board and other football family who initially did not want to contest but because baton changed hands and they are coming in after we had closed the sale of forms”.
Nevertheless, the committee said any appeal or protest letter should be channeled to the electoral Appeals Committee before the 15th of August.
List of those cleared:
Giwa Christopher Musa
Farouk Yarma Adamu
Kachala Baba Gana Kalli
Fema Mohammed Sani
Inuwa Sharif rabiu
Atuake Oswald Agaba
Johnson Etim Effiong
Obuah Felix Amaechi
Suday Dele Ajayi
Akinwumi Abiodun Oluseyi
Those not cleared: