Immediate past president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick has been accused to have acted unethically and illegally in Friday’s election that produced Ibrahim Musa Gusau as the new NFF President.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports that this is coming after a message Pinnick allegedly sent to the WhatsApp group of FA presidents in Africa found its way into the public glare.
In the message allegedly shared by Pinnick shortly after the emergence of Gusau as the new NFF President, the outgoing NFF president stated why he did not run for third term and also boasted he installed his closest ally as the new NFF President.
The WhatsApp message reads: “My esteemed colleagues, I decided not to run for a third consecutive term for several reasons. Successfully I was able to install one of my closest allies Mr Ibrahim Gusau whom most of you know very well as the new President of the Nigeria Football Federation.
“He happens to be my staunchest and most loyal supporters. He is humble and a team player. Will send his number shortly and excuse myself from this esteemed Chat Group”.
Did @PinnickAmaju, the outgoing @thenff president, act unethically and illegally in Friday’s presidential election? This is a WhatsApp group message that he sent, to FA presidents in Africa, shortly after Ibrahim Gusau became his successor. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/rXPtAoCiLNAdvertisement
— Osasu Obayiuwana (@osasuo) September 30, 2022
While the authenticity of the WhatsApp message has been questioned, Pinnick was yet to deny the message himself.
Having served two terms of 8 years, Pinnick’s tenure ended today, following the election of Gusau as the new NFF president at the 79th NFF Congress that was held in Benin City, Edo State.
Among the 10 persons who jostled to succeed Pinnick as Nigeria football’s supremo are current vice presidents, Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi (1st VP) and Mallam Shehu Dikko (2nd VP), as well as current Executive Committee Member and Chairman of Chairmen, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau and another current Executive Committee Member, Hon. Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande.
There was also an immediate past General Secretary, Barr. Musa Amadu, and Head of Safety and Security of the Confederation of African Football, Dr. Christian Emeruwa, who took part in the election.
Also in the hunt for the exalted post were Chairman of the FCT Football Association, Mallam Adam Mouktar Mohammed; former Nigeria international goalkeeper, Peterside Idah; former Chairman of Kano Pillars FC and respected technocrat, Alhaji Abba Abdullahi Yola and; UK-based David-Buhari Doherty.
A former NFF 1st Vice President, Mazi Amanze Uchegbulam, pulled out of the race during the week.
Gusau, a member of the immediate-past Executive Committee of the NFF emerged as the Federation’s new president, after polling a total of 39 votes to beat other contestants in the race which went into a run-off.
On the first ballot, Gusau scored 21 votes but could not be declared the winner because he did not have 50 per cent of the total votes cast, which would have amounted to 22 votes.
In this ballot, former NFF First Vice-President Senior Akinwunmi had 12 votes, while ex-national goalkeeper Peterside Idah polled one vote.
Also, Abba Yola, the Chief of Staff to Youth and Sports Development Minister Sunday Dare, scored one vote while former NFF Second Vice-President Shehu Dikko had six votes.
Other contestants, such as Chris Emeruwa, Amanze Uchegbulam who had a few days ago indicated his withdrawal, and David Doherty did not score any vote.
In the second ballot, after a number of withdrawals, Gusau scored 39 votes to emerge winner while Peterside scored one vote.
Earlier at the Congress, former NFF President had in his farewell speech commended members of his Executive Committee for their “innovative ideas and the support” given to him during his tenure.
“I cannot thank God enough for His wonderful grace throughout these eight years of my administration as President of NFF. In fact I must say that it has been good, bad and ugly. But in all we thank God for everything.
“Everything you see today would not have been possible without the input of my executive committee members. They are the engine room of whatever successes we must have recorded in the past eight years. I also want to thank all Nigerian football stakeholders who stood beside us during this administration,” he said.
However, the election was held under the cloud of a Sept. 15 Federal High Court order which asked for a stay of action on all matters related to electing new Executive Committee members. However, court papers indicating an appeal has been filed against this court order had emerged on Wednesday evening to give an indication that the order has been vacated.
It is now left to be seen what would follow this development, with reactions expected from the Federal High Court and the Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria (PFAN). PFAN had obtained the court order against the elections.
It was asking for the status quo to remain until the determination of its suit asking for an expansion of the list of those who constitute the Congress of Nigerian football.
TNG reports that the NFF elective congress produced the new NFF President and other executives.