Football activities in Kano State will ground to a halt and Kano Pillars FC will be expelled from the Nigeria Professional Football League and prevented from participating in all domestic cup competitions if a Court Order restraining the Executive Board of the Kano State Football Association (KSFA) from carrying out its functions is not withdrawn within seven days the Nigeria Football Federation has warned.
The NFF issued this warning in response to an Interlocutory Injunction granted by Justice Umar Malam Na’aba of the Kano High Court in respect of suit number K/212/2019 filed by Plaintiff Muhammad Salisu-Rabiu, faulting the 27 May KSFA election that returned long-serving chairman Sharu Rabiu Ahlan for a fifth four-year term.
Salisu-Rabiu had initially obtained an injunction on 24 May preventing the elections from going ahead after he was disqualified from contesting. The elections held anyways with the backing of the NFF prompting the plaintiff to return to the courts in a bid to set the results aside.
The Injunction dated Wednesday, 18 December directed Ahlan who is also a member of the NFF Executive Committee and other elected members of the Executive Board or their agents from parading themselves as elected executives of the Kano State Football Association.
The court order, a copy of which was furnished the NFF on Thursday, also directed that KSFA accounts with FCMB and ECOBANK be sealed pending the final determination of the suit which was adjourned till 7 January 2020.
Acknowledging receipt of the court order on Thursday, the NFF, in a letter addressed to the secretary of the KSFA reminded the body of the extant provisions of the NFF Statutes barring members from contesting football-related matters in civil courts.
Citing Article 69 of the NFF Statutes, 2010, the letter noted that the “NFF, its members, players, match officials and player agents will not take any dispute to Ordinary Courts unless specifically provided for in these Statutes and FIFA regulations. Any disagreement shall be submitted to the jurisdiction of FIFA, CAF, WAFU or NFF”.
The NFF, therefore, directed that the suit be withdrawn within seven days from Thursday failing which will see all football clubs in Kano State including reigning Aiteo Cup champions and 4-time NPFL winners Kano Pillars prevented from participating in all domestic football competitions.
“In view of the provision of NFF Statutes that you have submitted to under Art 10 as a member, you are hereby directed to withdraw the case before Kano State High Court and all other Court Cases within Seven (7) days of the receipt of this letter. Failure to comply within the stipulated period, the Nigeria Football Federation will invoke the relevant provisions of the Statutes to suspend Kano State FA from all football related activities.
“The attendant implication of the above will include suspension of all clubs in Kano State including Kano Pillars FC from participating in any organised League/Competitions,” the NFF declared in the letter.
Other respondents in the suit include Ma’aruf Yakasai, Shehu Buhari, Kano State FA, Kano Sports Commission, Aminu Muhammad Chana, Hassan A. Garo, Idris Rilwanu Malikawa, Usman Mustapha, Ibrahim Isah Odiye and Haliru Alasan Sumaila.