Former NFF President Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdullahi has again written a letter to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan over his unlawful impeachment from office exactly four years ago and demand the immediate removal of Alhaji Aminu Maigari from office as the NFF President.
According to him, Maigari and his Board are illegally occupying the position after vacating his impeachment in 2011 and declaring him innocent of any wrong doing while in office between 2006 and 2010.
In the letter to Mr. President dated 2nd May, 2014, Lulu demanded among other things that NFF must tell Nigerians why they vacated his impeachment while EFCC had arraigned him in court, why the Electoral Committee discontinue the main electoral process when he was been returned unopposed and not convicted, that NSC/NFF should account for the Two Billion and Eight Hundred Million Naira (N2.8 Billion), he left behind at the time of his impeachment, and the PTF should present to the public the statement of account of over One Billion Naira (N1Billion) they realized from fund raised for the Africa Nation Cup and World Cup in 2010, because none was remitted to his NFF led Board.
“Mr. President, I had written severally, with the last being an open letter to you dated 28/08/2012, primarily to convey the high level of injustice meted unto my NFF led Board and to show how our four years tenure was abruptly terminated under circumstances that we consider as unjust and heavily beclouded by deliberate falsehood and blackmail which were aimed at frustrating our selfless, sincere and committed efforts to reposition Nigeria Football and reclaim our rightful place of glory among the soccer nations of the world”
“Your Excellency, the purpose of this letter is therefore to humbly continue to use this only available medium to state in clear terms our own perspective of the circumstances under which we were undemocratically and unlawfully pushed out of office and unjustifiably vilified, intimidated, arrested, detained and charged to court. As a true democrat and humanist, we are sure that your Excellency will be interested in our own side of the story which bears footprints of our courageous vision, patriotism, commitment and dedication that, in ordinary circumstances should be encouraged and supported. Indeed, at the height of our persecution and even up till now, all our efforts to have an official opportunity to present our case to Your Excellency were thwarted”.
The former FCT Director of Sports went further to enumerate some of the achievements recorded by his administration which include the overhauled and restructured of the NFF Secretariat in line with the statutory provision, with appointment of a General Secretary, two Deputy General Secretaries and four Assistant General Secretaries, directly responsible to the NFF Board, creation of an enabling environment for youth participation in all local football tournaments and consequently all the National Teams for the first time in Nigeria and Africa qualified and participated during this period in all the nine categories of FIFA organized world championship finals. This feat at that time was achieved only by Brazil in the world. The entire age-grade football programme commencing from the under-13 was duly instituted with the sole aim of eradicating future age-cheats and maximizing the empowerments of youth.
“For the first time in the history of Nigeria Football, an annual grant of N18,500,000 (i.e. N500,000 to each state) was approved and released effective from 2009 to 36 states and FCT Football Associations to facilitate development of grassroot football and through a selfless determination to prosecute the 2010 FIFA World Cup raised over N300 Million from FIFA and other corporate sponsors to execute our pre-tournament activities until the remittance of Federal Government approved grant on 2nd June 2010, just four days to the commencement of the competition. These earlier funds were used for the hiring of an Aircraft, Purchase of match tickets, Two weeks Team camping in London, Four international friendly matches, Payment of critical debts or miscellaneous to former Coach Berty Vogts and new Coach Lars Lagerback and Payment of deposit for hotel accommodation in South Africa”.
“Your Excellency, I wish to reiterate here that our landmark achievements were not without challenges. Among these challenges were the colossal debt inherited at the inception of our administration, and the antagonistic disposition of the Ibrahim Bio led National Sports Commission, which was completely dissatisfied with the autonomy of the NFF under the new FIFA regulation. Indeed, several attempts were made to frustrate our activities and whenever we stood by the FIFA approved statute in our activities, we were branded as arrogant or not conforming to the old tradition of compromise”.
“Your Excellency, the NSC and PTF had their ways and finally mobilized all the available apparatus and powers at their disposal to get us out of the way. Consequently our impeachment was contrived and we were removed from office in the most brazen manner and without regards to due process and the statutes of NFF and FIFA. Indeed, one Mr. Ray Nnaji, who had earlier been expelled for anti-NFF/FIFA activities were used to spearhead the campaign. He wrote a petition which the EFCC used to swoop on us at the NFF and subsequently without due process detained, charged and arraigned us in court”.
He said that the charges leveled against them in court by EFCC were centered on the Purchase/procurement of two (2) Marco Polo Buses, Hiring of an Aircraft at a rate lower than the normal price and, Conspired to book a cheap, substandard and unbefitting Hampshire Hotel for the Super Eagles Team in South Africa.
”Your Excellency, it should however be noted that in the pursuit of justice we followed due process in accordance with FIFA/NFF statutes by formally challenging all these allegations and illegalities up to the level of the International Court of Arbitration on Sports (CAS) in Zurich. We only withdrew this case in February 2011, because NFF had vacated its impeachment against us on 28/12/2010 and this was consequently followed by the intervention of CAF President (Dr. Isa Hayatou). Also, relatedly and most importantly, we had to exhibit maturity and patriotism in the application of our vision of using the power of football to better the Nigeria society, by avoiding to overheat the polity of the politically tensed nation which was preparing for its general election in April 2011, just less than 2 months away”.
“In conclusion, Mr. President, it is obvious that because of our love and patriotism for our dear country we followed due process and rule of law as contained in the statutes to file a case with CAS, but withdrew following intervention of CAF President after NFF vacation of impeachment vide extract and I quote “The congress resolved that the decision of 09/07/2010 concerning impeached Alh. Sani Lulu Abdullahi, Mazi Amanze Uchegbulam and Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi be vacated in the spirit of reconciliation. Similarly, congress resolved that all members of the football family having any football matter pending in ordinary court, should proceed to withdraw same in the spirit of sportsmanship, while imploring the Executive Committee to open up a channel of communication in resolving such disputes including the matter in CAS with former members of its Executive Committee.”
He said the NFF has refused to implement the above decisions as they relate to him and his colleagues despite withdrawal from CAS.