Benin City’s NFF AGA is approved by the Court of Appeal

After days and weeks of anticipation, the 78th Annual General Assembly of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will take place today in Benin City, electing a new board to succeed the Amaju Pinnick leadership.

An ex parte injunction that certain individuals obtained a fortnight ago to sway the election was ordered by the Court of Appeal to be stayed from going into effect yesterday morning.

Current vice presidents, Barr, are one of the ten candidates vying to replace Pinnick as the head of Nigerian football. First Vice President Seyi Akinwunmi, Second Vice President Mallam Shehu Dikko, Chairman of the Chairmen of the Executive Committee Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau, and another member of the Executive Committee, Hon. Abdul Yahaya-Kwande.

An immediate previous General Secretary, Barr, is competing for the top position at Sunday Dankaro House in Abuja. Musa Amadu with Dr. Christian Emeruwa, the head of the CAF’s safety and security division.

Mallam Adam Mouktar Mohammed, the chairman of the FCT Football Association, Peterside Idah, a former chairman of Kano Pillars FC and a well-respected technocrat, Alhaji Abba Abdullahi Yola, and David-Buhari Doherty, a British citizen, round out the list of ten candidates.

During the week, Mazi Amanze Uchegbulam, a former NFF first vice president, withdrew from the contest, saying that he did so because he “did not want to run afoul of the ex parte injunction.”

Due to an invalid nomination, Mr. Marcellinus Anyanwu of Imo State was eliminated from the contest, while Mr. Paul Yusuf of Plateau State was similarly removed. Former Bendel Insurance goalie Yusuf has vowed to do all it takes to overturn his ban and get justice.

For the position of first vice president, three candidates—Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu, a current board member; Senator Obinna Ogba, also a current board member; and Mr. Chinedu Okoye—will compete.

Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau will be replaced as Chairman of Chairmen by Alhaji Yusuf Ahmed “Fresh,” a current board member, as he was the only one to collect the paperwork and get clearance.

Pastor Emeka Inyama of Abia State, Mr. Chikelue Iloenyosi of Anambra State, Mr. Karibe Pascal Ojigwe of Abia State, Mr. Jude Benjamin Obikwelu of Anambra State, and Sir Emmanuel Ochiagha of Anambra State are the candidates from the South East seeking seats on the Executive Committee (Imo State).

Alhaji Mohammed Alkali (from the state of Nasarawa); Rt. Hon. Honorable Margaret Icheen (Benue State); Mr. Daniel Amokachi (Benue State), Mr. Benedict Akwuegbu, and Idris Abdullahi Musa (Kwara State) (Plateau State).

On the list of candidates from the South South area, Ms. Aisha Falode, a current member of the board, is at the top, followed by Chief Kenneth Nwaomucha (Delta State), Mr. Gregory Abang (Cross River State), Mr. Roland Abu Omomoh (Edo State), and Barr. Rt. Hon. Poubeni Ogun of Bayelsa State, Mr. Jarret Tenebe of Edo State, and Rt. Hon. Essien Udofot (Akwa Ibom State) is another candidate seeking for seats in that region.

Alhaji Ganiyu Majekodunmi, a current board member, is at the top of the list of candidates vying for seats in the South West. He is followed by Otunba Sunday Dele-Ajayi (Ondo State), Mr. Ayodeji Ogunjobi (Osun State), Alhaji Olawale Gafar Liameed (Lagos State), Mr. Afolabi Taiwo Olugbenga ( Osun State’s Pelumi Jacob Olajengbesi is also running.

Candidates from the North East include Alhaji Babagana Kalli (Borno State), a current Board Member, and Barr. Timothy Henman Magaji, Sajo Mohammed (Adamawa State), and (Taraba State). The single contender from the North West is Alhaji Sharif Rabiu Inuwa, a current Board member from Kano State.

The elections will start once other topics on the agenda for the 78th Annual General Assembly have been addressed, according to a statement made by the Chairman of the NFF Electoral Committee, Chief Aikhunegbe Anthony Malik, SAN. Immediately after the elections, the winners will be sworn in.

Officials from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and FIFA, the sport’s global governing body, are already here in the city to watch the NFF elections.

Both Solomon Mudege, the head of FIFA’s African development programmes, and Gelson Fernandes, the director of FIFA’s African division and a former Swiss international player, were giddy yesterday night.

“We are pleased to be here and to witness another significant moment in the history of Nigerian football,” Mudege added. We anticipate that the next elections will make for an exciting Congress.

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