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Ex-NPL boss, Baribote, Club Owners trade words over legality of association

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The Club Owners Association has queried the motive of the former chairman, Nigeria Premier League (NPL), and second vice president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Victor Rumson Baribote, who at the weekend described the body as an illegal association not known to Nigerian laws.

The Club Owners Association is a body representing the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and Nigeria National League (NNL) clubs.

Baribote, who recently graduated in Law from Adeleke University, Ede and qualified for practice at the Law School in Abuja, said that Article 33 of the statute is very clear on the issue.

Speaking during a virtual interview session conducted on a WhatsApp platform, Family United By Football (FUBF), Baribote also questioned the way board members were elected into the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), adding that normally, “the chairman of the Premier League shall be the second vice president of the NFF. The NFF Congress will conduct elections for 10 persons of the 15 board members namely, NFF president, the first vice president, and eight ordinary members.

“Then five positions are the NPFL, Chairman of Chairmen, NNL, NLO and Women League. These are independent bodies, which have to conduct their own elections.

“It is even wrong on the floor of the NFF Elective Congress to elect Chairman of Chairmen. It is an exclusive position for only Club Chairmen to vote for their representative.

“It is the same thing that is applicable to the league board. The club chairmen will elect one person among them to represent them on the board. So, Club Owners Association is not known to football law, ” he stated.

Reacting to Baribote’s position, Alloy Chukwuemeka, who is the executive secretary of the Club Owners Association, described his position as ‘insensitive and careless.’

In a statement obtained by The Guardian, Chukwuemeka said: “Chief Baribote may have lost touch with the trends of modern protocols of football administration since his unceremonious exit as the NPL boss many years ago. He may have also forgotten that he was once a member of the Association, same Association voted him to become chairman of NPL and second vice president of NFF… he worked with the Association when he was the NPL boss and some time ago nominated his wife to represent his club Nembe city in the Association, which he now referred to as an illegal body.

“It is pertinent to also remind Chief Baribote, who has lost his status of membership of the Association, that the same Club Owners he referred to as an illegal body voted for his unceremonious exit as the chairman of the NPL.”

The Club Owners said they would not like to join issues with Chief Baribote, rather advised him to make more research to ascertain the true status of the Association in the eye of the law before rushing to make unsubstantiated and careless statements in the media.

“The Club Owners Association comprises distinguished and eminent personalities who are owners, chairmen, managers and administrators of their various clubs in their capacities, as heads of their respective clubs. The association is a legal entity known to Nigerian law, as it is duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission and recognized by the LMC and the NFF.”


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