Former Chairman of the Nigeria Premier League, Victor Rumson Baribote has disclosed that he was removed from office because he refused to endorse the sack of Coach Samson Siasia as handler of the national team.
Baribote said following Siasia’s inability to qualify Nigeria for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations held in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, he(Baribote) was asked to endorse the NFF’s decision to sack the Bayelsa-born sweat merchant which he refused, “that was the genesis of my sins” which culminating in his removal from office.
“This sin which the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), is holding against me led to my removal as the NPL chairman,” he said.
Baribote who is the proprietor of Nembe City FC, a Premier League clubside, said because of his insistence on the truth and being an apostle of doing things right, NFF felt if he was allowed to continue as NPL chairman and as the second vice president of the NFF, he would rock the boat and cause disharmony within the NFF leadership.
“When they approached me to endorse the sacking of Siasia, I told them no. Although, the Super Eagles coach could not fulfill part of the contract he signed. I told them he should be given the benefit of the doubt by giving him a second chance. From then on, it became a matter of Baribote must go.
“Besides, I was the second vice president of the Nigeria Football Federation by virtue of my being the chairman of NPL and as such I deserved to know how the income and expenditure of the Federation were carried out. I went to the account to demand for the statement of account of the football house and this did not go down well with NFF and the board and the next thing was to gang up against me with an allegation that I have embezzled fund belonging to the Nigeria Premier League.
That is my sin. I have told them that I am ready for probe. I stand to face EFCC because one cannot embezzle money where there is no money.”
The chairman of Nembe City FC said he is not afraid of probe, noting that as stakeholder in Nigerian football, he cannot run away from any action that bothers on his office.”
“I am still running football and I am a stakeholder in Nigeria football, and so I’m ready to be probed.”