No fewer than 25 armed policemen were noted yesterday at the secretariat of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), with some staffers of the football house confirming that they met the officers positioned at the entrance to the Glass House when they resumed for work yesterday.
The presence of the armed policemen may not be unconnected with last Friday’s Supreme Court ruling in the legal tussle between Chris Giwa and the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF.
It was understood that the NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, envisaging disturbance, requested for police protection of the federation’s staff and property.
And shortly before he (Dr. Sanusi) drove out yesterday evening to attend a meeting outside the NFF secretariat, he was seen whispering to an inspector, one of the top officials that led the policemen to the NFF, that their allowance would be paid to them today.
The Guardian gathered that there were intelligent reports that there could be trouble should the Giwa camp try to forcefully gain entrance to the secretariat.
Meanwhile, the NFF First Vice President/Chairman, Legal Committee, Seyi Akinwunmi has assured Nigerians that the ongoing court case will not compel FIFA to ban Nigeria from participating at the 2018 World Cup.
The NFF in a statement said “the NFF board appreciated the reasoning of the apex court in refusing the prayers of the appellants, which if granted would have accorded them some kind of legitimacy, against the backdrop of an ongoing administration of Nigerian Football which is at the cusp of taking Nigeria to the world’s greatest football event, the World Cup.”
Akinwunmi disclosed that the NFF’s lawyers were confidently prepared to argue the case afresh and look forward to finally putting the matter to rest and to prove to the world that Nigerian football can continue to be run in its orderly manner.
“He referred to the case as a mere distraction for Nigerian football which ought not to have been instituted in the first place given the convention for resolution of football disputes.”