World football governing body, FIFA, Tuesday accepted the majority decision of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Electoral Appeals’ Committee, which upheld the election of Amaju Pinnick as the president of federation.
Pinnick was on September 30, 2014 elected as the NFF president by the congress of the federation. But three contestants in the polls, Iyke Igbokwe, Suleiman Muazu and Shehu Dikko challenged the elections, saying its conduct violated FIFA, Confederation of African Football (CAF) and NFF statutes.
The NFF Electoral Committee had on Wednesday last week released the verdict of the committee on petitions brought to it by aggrieved candidates in the September 30 NFF elections held in Warri. In their verdict, they ruled that there was no basis to challenge the outcome of the polls, as the elections met all the requirements stipulated by the FIFA, CAF and NFF laws. That verdict was, however, signed by only four members, including Dotun Coker, Sani Mohammed, Victor Nwangwu and Bala Garba who explained that their chairman, Okey Ajunwa, refused to append his signature to it.
Barely 24 hours after the four members’ verdict was made public, Ajunwa released another ruling, completely different from the four members’ report. In his report, Ajunwa annulled the elections of Amaju Pinnick, as NFF president, Seyi Akinwunmi (Vice President), Felix Anyansi Agwu and Rabiu Sheriff Inua, as representatives of the SouthEast and NorthWest respectively.
The matter was then taken to the world body for final arbitration.
FIFA yesterday in a letter upheld the decision of the majority of the appeals’ committee members on the issue.
In the letter signed by its secretary general, Jerome Valcke, dated December 9, 2014, FIFA said, “we acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated 8 December 2014 including details of the ruling of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Electoral Appeals Committee.
“We note the majority decision of the Electoral Appeals Committee to uphold in their entirety the results of the NFF Elective Congress held in Warri on September 30 2014.
“We are therefore pleased to be able to start working with the new office bearers headed by the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick. We will contact you in he coming days to organise an introductory meeting between Mr. Pinnick and the FIFA President in Zurich.”