ELIGIBILITY: AKINBOBOLA AWAITS ELECTORAL COMMITTEE'S VERDICT
The last may not have been heard over the re-run election into the vacant position of the Nigerian Premier League (NPL) chairman, as gladiators, stakeholders and shareholders have mapped out strategies, mind games and verbal attacks to outsmart each other in the election.
Speaking with Daily Sunsports at the secretariat of the NPL, a board member and one of the candidates for the chairmanship election, Akin Akinbobola, said that he won't jump gun in promoting his eligibility, insisting that he would rather wait for the decision of the electoral committee to determine his fate.
Speaking in the same vein, general secretary players union, Austin Popo, told Daily Sunsports on telephone Thursday that the ineligibility of Akinbobola was not in doubt, insisting that the ruling of the court and the Arbitration Panel completely ruled him out.
'The rules and guidelines concerning the game are very clear. We should not bend the rule or shift the goalpost in the middle of the game.
The Akin Ibidapo-Obe Arbitration Tribunal Award concerning the election was very clear and explicit. From the court ruling, Akinbobola is not qualified to contest the chairmanship of NPL and we should avoid overheating the system,' Popo warned.
However, reacting to the development, the representative of the Southwest zone in the NPL board, Akinbobola, pointed out that he won't join issues with anybody until the electoral committee rolls out the guidelines for the re-run.
Confronting him with one of the clarifications of the Arbitration Panel Award which ordered for fresh election and not fresh nominations, Akinbobola described it as a wonderful and fantastic ruling, adding; 'I have said this to one or two other persons that there are processes for getting nominations for an election. If you want to go for an elective position, you will obtain forms, go through the screening and certain other processes.
'If you are not going to be involved, there are equally processes.
If the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) puts your name on a ballot paper, there are only two things that can remove the name. The first is if you communicate to INEC in writing that you want to pull out of the race or if the person is dead. Asked to make a categorical statement if he will be contesting, Akinbobola responded: 'We will cross the bridge when we get there.'
Meanwhile, the chairman of Heartland FC of Owerri, Fan Ndubuoke, has disclosed that the club owners would next week meet to deliberate over the proposed re-run election, stressing that they must have a say as stakeholders in the league. Although he declined further comments on the matter, the Heartland's boss quipped that the whole issue was far from conclusion, stressing that it would be difficult to determine who becomes the NPL chairman before the meeting.
'I can't tell you who is eligible or ineligible until club owners meet anytime from now till next week.
We must have say over who becomes our chairman. By the way, who told you I'm not interested in the position,' he quipped jokingly.