*Why shroud the amendment in secrecy?
National Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF) has kicked against the proposed Bill before the House of Representatives attempting to repeal the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) Act urging the lower parliament to stop the move.
In a letter dated 22nd October 2017 and addressed to the Speaker, House of Representatives, through the Clerk of The House, National Assembly Complex, Abuja, NANF president, Harrison Jalla, who signed the letter, wondered why the proposed Bill was shrouded in secrecy.
On 30th May, 2017, a Bill for an Act to repeal the Nigeria Football Association Act and enact the Nigeria Football Federation and for other matters connected therewith, was passed by the Senate.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Clerk of the Senate signed the Senate version of the Bill.
“It came as a rude shock to us that the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will surreptitiously consider and pass a Bill having such far-reaching implications in law without affording all major stakeholders in the football industry an opportunity to make representations,” the letter read.
“It is a sad commentary on our democratic experience that the Senate will embark on the amendment to the NFA Act without publicising the effort. It is all the more grievous that those of us, whose enabling contracts and constitutions will be eradicated were never called upon specifically to make representations.
Why House of Reps must stop the concurrence: “We were never notified officially but on becoming aware of the carnage that will be visited on our industry if the House of Representatives inadvertently goes fully with the Senate, we decided to come at such short notice.
The Bill has nothing to do with compliance; it is a fraud which is aimed at regularising the fraud that has been visited on Nigerian football since NFA became comatose.”
This is legalising a fraud: NANF also faulted Section 6 of Part VI of the Bill titled ‘Leagues’, which reads, “The League Management Company incorporated as a limited liability company shall be in charge of the management and operation of the elite professional football league and any other league the federation may assign to the company in accordance with the Statutes of the Federation. The company shall be composed and operated in accordance with its governing regulations as may be amended from time to time.”
The players union stated, “the contention is that the incorporation of the said company is a nullity, given the fact that as at 2013 when it was purportedly incorporated, there was no elected board under an elected chairman in line with the NFA Act.
How can LMC manage league in perpetuity? Therefore Alhaji Aminu Maigari signing as representing NFA as Administrator and second sponsor is clearly illegal and the proposed Senate Act may inadvertently be perpetuating illegality with the inclusion of LMC in the proposed Act to run the Premier League in perpetuity.
“As of now, the LMC is a private limited liability company in which an individual owns 75% of the shares. People are wondering why the Senate would put a privately owned company in a proposed Act of the land and give it perpetuity to own the Nigeria Premier League.”
NANF called on the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and other members of the House to step down the proposed Act and properly investigate the issues surrounding the controversial Bill.
Notice to challenge the Act in court: “Footballers are saying that should the House back the illegality of the proposed action and goes ahead with its sitting and enact the Bill that is clearly unconstitutional, they will go to court,” the group added.
“NANF urges the Honourable House members to tread with caution and seriously consider stepping down the proposed Act to enable more investigation or to expunge the offensive portions NANF has specifically referred to,”
Meanwhile, other stakeholders have slammed the Senate for passing such a sensitive Bill without considering the presentations before them.
A stakeholder, who took the opportunity of our investigation told www.gongnews.net “I believe there is an ulterior motive behind passing the Bill; if not, why was it kept away from major stakeholders in the football sector? This Bill cannot stand because it doesn’t represent the interest of Nigerian football in any way.