Timeline of NFF crisis

Tuesday 12 April 2016

/ by Colin Udoh

November 28, 2013
NFF held a General Assembly schedules next Elective Congress for August 26, 2014.
Appoints new NFF Electoral Committee led by Amoni Biambo (and new NFF Electoral Appeals Committee) to organize and supervise the said election into the NFF Executive Committee.

July 2, 2014: 
Federal High Court, Jos, issues an injunction on the NFF Executive Committee, including the then NFF President Mr. Aminu Maigari, preventing it from controlling, commanding or managing NFF affairs and from presenting or holding itself out as the NFF Executive Committee.

The High Court also instructed the Minister of Sport to appoint a senior member of the civil service in the NFF to take charge during the injunction. The Minister of Sports, acting on this Order, appointed Mr. Lawrence Katken. 

Katken immediately calls an Extraordinary Congress.

July 4, 2014: 
FIFA writes to the NFF, declaring 
That the actions of July 2 contravened Articles 13, para. 1 and 17, para. 1 of the FIFA Statutes, as they prevented the NFF from managing its affairs independently and without influence of third parties. 
FIFA further stated that, applying Articles 17, paras. 2 and 3, FIFA would not recognize any person or organ not elected in compliance with NFF Statutes.
FIFA would also not recognize any decision taken by the Extraordinary Congress called by Katken
Only decisions and persons elected in the NFF General Assembly of 26 August 2014 would be considered legitimate. 
If the NFF officials were not fully reinstated by 8 July 2014, Nigeria would be banned from all football activities.

July 5, 2014:
NFF holds an Extraordinary Congress as called by Katken.
Congress votes to sack the entire NFF Executive Committee, accusing President Aminu Maigari of “financial impropriety and abuse of office”.

July 9, 2014:
FIFA Emergency Committee suspends NFF with immediate effect until the withdrawal of the High Court’s Injunction Order and a confirmation that the “properly elected NFF Executive Committee, the NFF general assembly and the NFF administration are able to work without any interference in their affairs”.

July 17, 2014:
NFF General Secretary Musa Amadu informs FIFA that the High Court’s Injunction Order had been withdrawn and that consequently the NFF Executive Committee was once again allowed to function and run NFF affairs.

July 18, 2014: 
FIFA lifts the suspension on the NFF with immediate effect.

July 25, 2014: 
NFF Executive Committee impeaches Maigari as NFF President due to alleged violation of Article 35 of the NFF Statutes (specifically for “financial impropriety and abuse of office”) and appoints his vice-president, Chief Mike Umeh, as acting president pending the new election. 

August 14, 2014:
FIFA again writes to NFF, pointing out procedural irregularities in the removal of Maigari and directing, among other things, that 
The Executive Committee of the NFF be reunified as it was before the 2014 FIFA World Cup with Maigari as president.
That major decisions [be] frozen until the elections of 26 August. 
That NFF provide FIFA with a new roadmap for elections. 
That Maigari must preside over the NFF Congress on 26 August

August 12, 2014, 
Having been reinstated on the basis of FIFA directive, Maigari surprisingly hands in his resignation "with effect from congress of 2014 election."

August 19, 2014:
NFF General Secretary Musa Amadu sends a “Notice of NFF General Assembly” to all members of the NFF Congress to remind them of the NFF General Assembly scheduled for 26 August 2014. In this notice, Mr. Amadu declared that said assembly, “in line with the provisions of Article 23(a) of the NFF Statutes 2010, [would] consider a proposal from the Executive Committee of NFF to alter the Agenda for an Elective Congress... and to fashion a new roadmap for the elections into the Executive Committee of NFF, that is open, transparent, free and fair to all contestants, and fix a new date for the Elective Congress”.

On the same day, Maigari also sends a letter, on behalf of the NFF, to FIFA, which read, in part as follows:
“This is to inform you that, based on the advice contained in your letter of Thursday, 14 August 2014..., the Executive Committee of Nigeria Football Federation convened on Tuesday, 19th August 2014 with a view to fashioning a new roadmap for the elections into the Executive Committee.

Maigari's letter specifically stated that "This effectively means that the election will not take place on that date (26th August 2014) but at a later date to be decided by the Congress, but not later than two weeks thereafter.”

August 21, 2014:
FIFA acknowledges receipt of this letter on 21 August 2014 and took note of the NFF Executive Committee’s decision “to ask the members of the upcoming congress on 26 August 2014 to consider a new roadmap for the elections, which should be held no later than two weeks after the congress...”. 
Further, FIFA went on to state that “[t]he Congress being the highest decision-making body of any football association, we approve of the above plan and, as previously stated, we are supportive of an electoral process that is free and open to everybody thereby fulfilling the requirements of the NFF regulations.”

August 26, 2014:
Aminu Maigari, Chris Green and Musa Amadu detained by DSS. 
Sports Minister Tamuno Danagogo assists in securing Amadu's release and bringing him to Congress venue at Chida Hotel.
Without Maigari and Green, Delegates decide to leave venue in search of both men.
Mike Umeh, NFF 1st Vice President, decides to take charge of proceedings in the absence of Maigari.
Amadu begins to take roll call. Observes that only 5 legitimate delegates are present. 
One of the delegates moves a motion for elections. Amadu stages a walkout.
Elections hold. Giwa is elected president ahead of Mike Umeh
Having secured the release of Maigari and Green, 39 legitimate delegates sign the roll call and continue the Congress at Bentley Hotel.
Congress of 39 legitimate delegates resolves to schedule elections for September 30 in Warri, Delta State.
Congress also approved the dissolution and reconstitution of both Electoral Committee and Electoral Appeals Committee.

August 29, 2014:
FIFA writes to the NFF (specifically, Mr. Amadu, the General Secretary), informing that FIFA did not recognize the election that had taken place at the Chida NFF General Assembly and threatening to suspend the NFF if the officers purportedly elected on that day still continued to occupy the NFF offices by midnight on 1 September 2014.

September 3, 2014:
FIFA again writes to the NFF (specifically, Mr. Amadu) directing that, as indicated in FIFA’s letter to the NFF of 29 August 2014, given that individuals claiming to have been elected on 26 August 2014 were still occupying the NFF premises at midnight on 1 September 2014, it had sent the case to the FIFA Emergency Committee, and that said committee, after having been briefed of sequence of events of the last weeks, had issued a deadline of September 8 for such persons to vacate the NFF premises or have Nigeria suspended with immediate effect.

September 8, 2014:
Amadu writes to FIFA confirming that "those persons claiming to have been elected at the Congress of 26th August 2014 had vacated the premises of the NFF." Thus, avoiding the FIFA ban

September 10, 2014:
Musa Amadu sends out a “Notice of NFF General Assembly” to all NFF members, informing them that an NFF Extraordinary General Assembly would be held on 20 September 2014 in Warri, Delta State, and that in said assembly the NFF members would be “requested to, in line with a recent directive by world football-governing body, FIFA, elect Members of the NFF Electoral Committee and NFF Electoral Appeals Committee, in preparation for the elections into the NFF Executive Committee” and in addition to “set a date for the Elective Congress, which FIFA has also directed should hold at the shortest possible time."

September 17, 2014:
Amadu, on behalf of the NFF, informed FIFA that, in consonance with FIFA’s directive of 9 September 2014, the NFF Executive Committee unanimously agreed that the First NFF Extraordinary General Assembly would be held in Warri, Delta State on 20 September 2014 and that in it, the NFF Executive Committee would propose a new roadmap for the election of a new NFF Executive Committee (to be conducted in a second NFF extraordinary general assembly, the date and venue which would also be fixed and communicated in this First NFF Extraordinary General Assembly) and oversee the election of the members of the NFF Electoral Committee and the NFF Electoral Appeals Committee.

September 19, 2014:
Justice Ambrose Allagoa of the Jos Federal High Court issues an injunction under which, pending the hearing and determination of the “Motion on Notice” filed in the case:
(i) Maigari, Amadu and all other members of the “defunct” NFF Executive Committee (as so-referred to by said Court) whose tenure of office had in its view expired on 25 August 2014 were prevented from convening or holding a NFF General Assembly or a NFF Extraordinary General Assembly or conducting any election of the NFF Executive Committee, as well as from representing themselves respectively as the President, General Secretary and members of the Executive Committee of the NFF;
(ii) the Plateau State Football Association and all other football associations of the other 36 states of Nigeria and of the Federal Capital Territory were prevented from participating in any NFF General Assembly convened by Maigari, Amadu or any other members of the “defunct” NFF Executive Committee;
(iii) the Ministry of Sports was prevented from recognizing Maigari, Amadu or any other members of the “defunct” NFF Executive Committee; and
(iv) all aforementioned parties were prevented from interfering with the performance of the duties of the members of the NFF Executive Committee elected on 26 August 2014.

September 20, 2014: 
The First Extraordinary General Assembly was held.

September 30, 2014:
The Second NFF Extraordinary General Assembly holds in Warri, Delta State, with all 44 delegates in attendance, and resulted in the election of Amaju Pinnick as NFF President

October 27, 2014:
Jos High Court grants an order setting aside the election of 30 September 2014, in effect annulling the First and Second Extra-ordinary General Assemblies.
Court rules that NFF were not properly served earlier ruling, and absolves NFF of contempt charges

October 28, 2014:
FIFA writes to NFF that if it did not have proof that the case at the High Court against Mr. Maigari, Mr. Amadu, and the Plateau State Football Association had been withdrawn by 31 October 2014 at midday Nigerian time, the matter would be referred to the FIFA Emergency Committee for implementation of an immediate suspension on the NFF.

October 30, 2014:
The action against the NFF before the High Court withdrawn and the NFF Executive Committee elected on 30 September 2014 was again permitted to carry out its activities without any hindrance.

May 2015
Court of Arbitration for Sport rules that FIFA were right in refusing to recognize the elections of August 26 due to egregious third party interference which meant the elections were not completely independent.

January 21, 2016
Sports Minister Solomon Dalung calls 'peace meeting' between NFF with Chris Giwa. Meeting degenerates into name-calling chaos.

April 8, 2016
Jos High Court re-lists withdrawn case of October 2014 and restores previous reliefs 
NFF appeal decision and file for stay of execution.

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