Former Nigeria international and renowned lawyer Adokiye Amiesimaka has posited that the recent happenings in the Nigeria Football Federation could force more football matters to be taken to civil courts, after the NFF appeals committee ruled against the jurisdiction of the Electoral Appeals Committee to hear petitions filed against the conduct of the September 30 elections that brought about the present board of the NFF.
The NFF appeals committee led by Barr. Eddy Mark had ruled in November that ‘Article 12 (3) (of the NFF Electoral code) gives 14 days time to dispose of any appeal against the election’, and that ‘the election appeal committee has invited complainant to appear on 12 and 13 November 2014 well outside the 14 days in the electoral code for the election appeal hearing’, hence their reason to rule that ‘the invitation and proposed sitting by the election appeal committee is caught by the provisions of Article 12 (3), hence null and void.
The election appeal committee has no jurisdiction to sit outside the time provided by Article 12 (3) of the electoral guidelines’.
The findings of the NFF appeals committee was reported by NFF spokesperson, Ademola Olajire, to have been ‘adopted’ by the 70th NFF General Assembly held in Lagos on November 23.
Part of the statement issued by Olajire read in part that ‘the General Assembly adopted wholesale the reports of all NFF standing committees and judicial bodies since the inauguration of the Amaju Pinnick-led executive committee’.
However, Amiesimaka believes that the appeals committee’s findings and its reported adoption by the General Assembly could cause more commotion and force people to return to civil courts.
“I have not read about this elsewhere but if that information is correct, you too can see the lack of sincerity of purpose. After going through the process and making all your submissions to the (electoral) appeals committee and I even heard one of the submissions was on jurisdiction and all that. Why don’t you allow the (electoral) appeals committee to come out with its findings?
“You now go through the back door because you know the general assembly has such authority on football matters, and you go through the back door and assemble them to make them pass such resolutions. Of course you know what you’re looking for, you are only saying that people should go back to court,” Amiesimaka said.