Tuesday, 29th November 2022
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… Uchegbulam, three other contestants pull out of NFF elections over court order

By Gowon Akpodonor 
29 September 2022   |   3:19 am
To avoid going to jail, four of the presidential candidates in the Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) elective congress, scheduled for tomorrow, in Benin City, Edo State, have pulled out of the race.

Nigerian Football Federation (NFF)

To avoid going to jail, four of the presidential candidates in the Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) elective congress, scheduled for tomorrow, in Benin City, Edo State, have pulled out of the race.

 
The build-up to the election has been characterised by crisis, including an order by a Federal High Court in Abuja, on September 15, that Congress be put on hold. And on Wednesday, September 27, the Federal High Court in Abuja granted a plea by the Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria (PFAN) to initiate contempt proceedings against 14 top officials of the NFF, including Amaju Pinnick, the Electoral Committee, as well as the Appeal Committee.
 
First to pull out of the NFF election was former board member, Amanze Uchegbulam, who stated in a letter addressed to the Electoral Committee, yesterday, that he does not want to take the risk of going ahead with his plan due to the various court cases surrounding the polls.
 
The letter made available to The Guardian yesterday reads: “I hereby formally bring to your notice my intention not to participate in the NFF election scheduled for September 30, 2022, in view of a well-publicised court order by Hon. Justice I.E Ekwo of Abuja High Court on September 15, stopping the election pending the hearing of the substantive suit.”
 
Three other contestants, including Peterside Idah, Musa Amadu and Murktar allegedly dropped their ambition yesterday. 
 
A source close to the contestants told The Guardian that their letters announcing their withdrawal from the election would be made public by yesterday evening following a statement by Sports Minister, Sunday Dare.

The minister, who had a meeting with the contestants late on Tuesday, told the participants to be cautious in view of the court order.

Confirming his decision to put his ambition on hold, one of the candidates, Idah Peterside, said he took the step in deference to the court order.

“We have to obey the court order. I am a law-abiding citizen and so, I am heeding the court’s order,” Peterside said.
 
The Guardian recalls that Justice Inyang Ekwo had ordered on September 15, 2022, that elections to the NFF board be put on hold pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction pending before the court.