The Amaju Pinnick-led faction of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) may have incurred the wrath of the Presidency over its decision to disregard a court order to step aside.
A Federal High Court sitting in Jos, Plateau State, had last Wednesday nullified the September 30 election that produced the Pinnick-led board.
Justice Ambrose Allagoa, had in his declarative order asked the board to vacate office since he had earlier ruled on September 19, that the election should be put on hold pending the determination of the Motion on Notice before the court.
“I have set aside all the proceedings and decisions of the Extra Ordinary meeting of the 20th September and the Elective Congress of 30th September which were direct contravention of the orders of this court as granted on the 19th September.
“Nobody should foist on the court a complete case of hopelessness so that the principles of law and justice can be upheld. Its not enough to say that the order of court was wrongly made, no matter how unorthodox, its subsisting orders, unless set aside, remains law and must be respected,” the presiding Judge had declared.
Prompt News gathered that the Presidency had expected that the order of the court would be obeyed since the federal government since the days of the late Umar Musa Yar’Adua has been known for its observance of the “Rule of Law Mantra”.
However, top government officials were said to have been embarrassed that despite the court order, Mr. Pinnick still attempted to travel to Windhoek, Namibia for the final of the African Women Championship in his capacity has NFF President.
To demonstrate government’s commitment to observance of the rule of law, the embattled Mr. Pinnick was prevented from travelling and asked to report to the DSS on Monday.
Prompt News also gathered that Presidency top shots were stunned when the NFF board announced the sack of Super Eagles Coach Stephen Keshi, without carrying along the Minister of Sports.
President Goodluck Jonathan had intervened to have Keshi stay on the job when he wanted to quit after the African Cup of Nations in South Africa. Ever since then, Keshi has become an appointee of the President.
“How can critical and fundamental decisions as removing the Head Coach and the coaching crew of the Super Eagles be carried out without consultations with the Sports Minister, who was made to personally appeal to coach Stephen Keshi to accept handling the team pending when the federation would settle down. What Pinnick did is a clearly a slight on the Federal Government.
“How can a supervising minister feign ignorance of the actions of the NFF President? It is either he is not in control of his ministry or something is fundamentally wrong.
“This government since the days of former President Umar Musa Yar’Adua is known with its Rule of Law mantra. Court orders are meant to be obeyed as part of building solid social structures in a democracy. That is why we encourage due processes in all we do. The Adamawa governorship tussle is a clear example,” a Presidency source told our correspondent.