Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Police Command in Abuja on Monday deployed stern looking police officers from its Wuse Division to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) secretariat to forestall breakdown of law and order at the Glass House.
The mobilisation of policemen to the secretariat was in the wake of last week’s Supreme Court judgment that ordered the retrial of the suit between Chris Giwa and Amaju Pinnick at the High Court.
Armed policemen numbering 23 assumed strategic positions at the entrance and inside the premises of the NFF secretariat.
They came in two hilux vans and a car with registration numbers NPF 454HQ, NPF 8393C and NPF 439C. The vehicles were stationed outside the building with the policemen monitoring movement of people in the area.
Unlike in the past when policemen restricted movements into the NFF offices, when both factions laid claims to the Glass House, the police did not prevent people from entering.
After the apex court verdict of retrial at the lower court, Giwaâ€™s faction was alleged to have threatened to take over affairs of the football federation pending the retrial. He had done so similarly when the High Court in Jos ruled in his favour.
The Supreme Court had stoked the crisis concerning who is the authentic President of NFF with less than two months to the kick off of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia with Nigeriaâ€™s Super Eagles as one of the 32 teams to feature at the Mundial.
Giwa is insisting he was duly elected the president of NFF at the election held on August 26, 2014 at Chida Hotel, Abuja.
His claims were, however, disputed by FIFA, which declared the August 26 election null and void.
Rather, FIFA upheld the election in Warri, Delta State on September 30, 2014 that produced Pinnick.
Dissatisfied, Giwa approached and got relief from Justice Kurya at a Jos High Court.
Justice Kuya set aside the September 30 election, saying it was held in flagrant disobedience to the order of the court on September 19 , 2014 against the conduct of the election.
But with football about to be dragged into disrepute in the country, both the NFF and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) slammed a five-year ban on Giwa and his group. FIFA upheld the decision of both NFF and CAF and extended it to a world-wide ban from all football related activities.
Giwa also lost in the globally acclaimed Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Zurich, Switzerland in his bid to upturn his ban by FIFA.