Abuja - A committee set up by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Thursday in Abuja said Victor Baribote, one of the association’s former vice-chairmen, was guilty of disobedience.
Baribote, a former Chairman of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) and ex-NFF Second Vice-Chairman, had accused the association’s leadership of misconduct.
He had sent a petition on this to world football governing body FIFA, with the Zurich-based body asking the NFF to investigate the allegation instead.
The NFF then set up a committee headed by Emeka Inyama, one of its board members and Chairman of its Media and Publicity Committee.
Inyama, while presenting the committee’s report to the NFF leadership, said Baribote had contravened various articles in the football statutes which preached fair play.
"In Baribote’s letter to FIFA, he claimed that he was still the chairman of the NPL.
"We saw from evidence available that, sometime in December 2012, he was impeached by the Congress of Premier League Club Owners in Abuja and those evidences were tendered.
"How come six months after, he was writing as if he was still the Chairman of the NPL, whereas the same Baribote submitted himself to the authority of the League Management Company (LMC).
"He took the LMC to court, but he participated in their meetings, one of which was a representation to Nigerian football.
"Baribote was seated there and we found it embarrassing and confusing.
"He went to court against LMC and NFF, and against the course which he was promoting, collected N10. 5 million from the LMC, being a share of revenue from league sponsorship.
"Yet he was in court with the same people, we did not understand that,’’ Inyama claimed.
He also said one Mrs Baribote was the true representative of Nembe City FC of Bayelsa, contrary to the make-belief of Victor Baribote that he was in charge.
"The authorities of Nembe City FC, as we know by the books, is one Mrs Baribote, and legally Mrs Baribote representing Nembe City is not the same thing as Rumson Victor Baribote.
"So, we found this contradicting.
"We found out that the letter he sent to FIFA was in bad faith and taste and we referred to articles 2, 4, 7, 10, 12 and 34.
"These are relevant articles of the NFF that authorised its chairman to set up this committee to look into this matter,’’ Inyama said
The committee chairman said the recommendations of the committee were however being kept secret until the NFF board had seen it and approved it.
He said every other relevant stakeholders linked to the matter appeared before the committee, including Aminu Maigari, the NFF chairman, while Baribote failed to appear.
"Baribote’s refusal to appear before the committee amounted to disobedience of constituted football authorities in the country and will deserve any punishment his action attracts,’’ Inyama said.
Maigari, while receiving the report, commended the committee, saying it was set up based on merit.
"The laws of football will take its course in the administration of football in the country, as no member of the football family has the right to digress.
"We all know that we operate football by guidelines. There are laid-down procedures that govern the game of football, which not one member of the family has the right to digress from.
"So, that is why we set up this committee to study this matter and advise the NFF board on the way forward.
"I assure that the board will sit down and thoroughly study the proposals and advice. We will leave no stone unturned at ensuring that every advice given will be utilised,’’ he said.
Felix Anyansi-Agwu, Ahmad Kawu, who are NFF board members, and Richard Jideaka who is a sports journalist were the other members of the committee.
Tajudeen Tiamiyu, a staff of the NFF secretariat, was the committee’s secretary.