Shortly after Sani Ndanusa emerged new Nigeria Olympic Committee President in an election okayed by the National Sports Commission, the following press statement was issued by the supposed outgone Executive:
The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) has not held elections into the Executive Committee. Properly organised elections will hold September 23.
The Committee has also not authorised any assembly under a name, “Congress Assembly”, which has no place in the Olympic Movement.
Since the case filed in CAS that put the election on hold has now been resolved, it behoves on us as law-abiding citizens to organise a proper elections, where all cleared contestants will participate.
The IOC cancelled the elections which ought to have held today because of the closeness of the CAS decision.
Any such gathering under any guise of NOC Congress is an illegal assembly. It is an affront and in complete contravention of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Charter to which NOC has sworn to protect.
The philosophy of the current government in place in the country is predicated
on the obedience to the principles of the ‘Rule of Law’.
It unfortunate that some individuals, goaded by certain officials of the National Sports Commission (NSC) will perpetrate rancour, rather than become agents of positive change.
Those who are asking for equity must come with clean hands, is a popular legal maxim.
At best what happened in Lagos today can best be described as a charade. This is the type of thing that happened in the football family.
The Personal Assistant to General Lassana Pallenfo, Mr Sunny Winslow, had
telephoned Mr Patrick Ekeji, the Director-General of the National Sports Commission at whose instance the illegal assembly was organised to forewarn him that any election organised without all the key officers will not be recognised by the International Olympic Committee and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA).
The NSC cannot and is not authorised under any guise to organise NOC elections.
The call was to clearly amplify the IOC letter which reads thus: “We acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 13 September informing us of the postponement of your NOC elections (initially scheduled on 16 September) until the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rendered its decision.
“We understand that this decision to postpone the elections was taken by your NOC (as this is a matter which is under your NOC’s jurisdiction and responsibility), based on the legal advice given by the IOC Legal Affairs Department in view of the ongoing procedure before the CAS.
“We now recommend that all interested parties respect and conform to the
decision taken by your NOC in order to avoid adding unnecessary confusion to the current situation.
“It is clear that the IOC would not be able to recognize any “elections” which would be organized outside your NOC’s jurisdiction or which would not be conducted by the legitimate outgoing office-bearers (including yourselves, Mr. Gumel, as the legitimate NOC President and Mr Oladapo, as the legitimate NOC Secretary General).
“This being said, your NOC will have to conduct its elections as soon as a final position is rendered by the CAS and the IOC will not consent to any further delay after that.
The letter was signed by Pere MIRÓ, IOC/NOC Relations Director.