Former president of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Maigari has faulted the ‘provisional clearance’ handed him by the electoral committee for Thursday’s executive committee election in Katsina.
Maigari is one of four candidates for the position of NFF president for the next four years, but his eligibility was called to question by a spate of petitions, which the former Bauchi State Football Association chairman insists were all misguided.
Consequently, Maigari has spoken out against the decision of the 2018 Nigeria Football Federation Electoral Committee to hand him a ‘provisional clearance’ ahead of the polls on Thursday in Katsina.
Maigari, the immediate past NFF president, is one of four candidates contesting for the presidency, along with the incumbent Amaju Pinnick, who is also the 1st Vice President of CAF, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi, former international defender and ex-general-secretary, as well as Chinedu Okoye, proprietor of amateur league club, Bimo FC.
The Electoral Committee, which was put in place by the NFF Congress at the 2017 Annual General Assembly in Jos, Plateau State and is headed by Barrister Muhammed Sani Katu, revealed in a statement signed by Katu on Wednesday that it resolved to substitute the earlier approval given to Maigari to contest with a provisional clearance.
The statement said that the committee reached its decision based on two petitions written against Maigari by Chuma Onye and Ahmed Shuaibu dated September 14 and September 17, respectively.
The committee further disclosed that the petitions were written against Maigari for certificate forgery and submission same for the purpose of the screening conducted by the electoral committee.
“During the screening exercise, the electoral committee discovered the discrepancies in the certificate presented by Maigari who is vying for the post of president of the NFF.
“However, the committee couldn’t reach a unanimous decision on whether to disqualify him or not, hence the need to resort to voting.
“During the voting, three out of five members of the electoral committee voted in favour of him being cleared and allowed to participate in the election.
“This led to the inclusion of his name in the list of the cleared candidates,” it stated, but also noted that upon receipt of the petition, the committee met and resolved to forward a copy to Maigari for his response vide a letter dated September 14.
The letter urged him to appear before the committee on or before September 17 for the purpose of clarification, noting that: “Maigari received the letter and informed the committee through a phone call to the chairman of his desire to appear before the committee on September 15.
“He honoured the invitation on the said date and further undertook to produce the originals of the said documents for verification and clarification on or before September 17. However, as at September 18, Maigari failed to produce the said original document.”
It was based on the above premise that the electoral committee made the following resolutions: “That the documents submitted by Maigari .i.e. the two Grade three certificates which were attached to the petitions are indeed not the same both in substance and in content with each other, in fact they are contradictory.
“That the said certificates are submitted to the committee in contravention of Article 5 (1) (i) of the guideline for the NFF Executive Committee Election, 2018.
“That the clearance earlier given to Alhaji Aminu Maigari to contest for the office of the President of the NFF is hereby substituted with a provisional clearance.”
However, Maigari described as unacceptable the decision of the electoral committee to issue him provisional clearance, after they had earlier cleared him for the polls.
Maigari insists original copies of his school certificates are intact and are readily available for any examination and said he will appeal the decision of the electoral committee.
“The decision of the electoral committee is unacceptable after I was cleared to run for this election. I believe that there is a deadline for the hearing of petitions, not just few hours to the elections.
“I have my original certificates fully supported by all the necessary documentations and they are available for anyone who cares to examine them,” Maigari submitted.