‘Desperate’ Giwa forces way into NFF office, arrested
The crises rocking the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), took a dramatic turn yesterday, as ‘factional’ leader, Chris Giwa, allegedly forced his way into the secretariat of the football house in Abuja. He was said to be arrested by security operatives shortly after.
The crisis had began last month shortly after the Super Eagles lost to Egypt to crash out of the 2017 AFCON, when a federal high court in Jos, Plateau State sacked the Executive Committee of the NFF led by Amaju Pinnick and ordered Giwa to take over the leadership of Nigerian football.
Justice Musa Haruna Kurya had granted the prayers of Yahaya Adama and Obinna Ogba to not only relist the suit in the tussle of the leadership of the NFF, but also upheld all the previous orders of the court, making Giwa the head of the federation until the final determination of the suit. The NFF immediately appealed against the ruling.
It was learnt that a ‘desperate’ Giwa, who arrived at the football secretariat at about 4 p.m., in company of some of his board members, exchanged pleasantries with some secretariat staff while inspecting the offices.
He, however, did not have access to the offices of the NFF President, the General Secretary and the Accountant as they were locked.
Giwa told newsmen after the inspection that he was at the football secretariat to assert the order of the court, which installed him as the president of NFF.
“My coming here is to confirm the ruling of the court that we got on April 8, 2016. It has been in the news, getting to one month today, that we got a ruling from the High Court in Jos restoring all the orders granted to us sometimes in 2014 after we relisted the case.
“The ruling gave me the permit and the right to be here today. I didn’t come in here with police; as you are aware, policemen have been here to do their duty of guarding the premises.“By the grace of God, by Monday I am going to address the press here (NFF secretariat)”, Giwa said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that security men at the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Zone 7, locked the gate to the NFF and FRSC.
The action prevented movement of people in and out of the premises for about 20 minutes before the arrival of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), of Wuse Zone 3 police station, Sunday Irek.
Irek, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), who arrived with detachment from his unit, entered Giwa’s Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), which took off.
The DPO had earlier deployed men to guard the NFF shortly after the court ruling on April 8. He said then that he was acting on orders from above.
When The Guardian contacted the Secretary General of the NFF, Dr. Sanusi Mohammed yesterday, he said that he was out of Abuja, but confirmed that some people had informed him of Giwa’s forceful entrance into the NFF.
The Guardian recalls that two years ago, Giwa claimed he had been elected president of the NFF, but world football governing body (FIFA) did not endorse the vote. His appeal was also thrown out by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).
Lawyer to the NFF, Festus Keyamo, had earlier asked the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, to arrest and prosecute Chris Giwa for claiming to be the duly elected president of the NFF.
Keyamo said then that there was no court order anywhere mandating the said Chris Giwa to take over any office or duties of the NFF.