World football governing body, (FIFA), last night said it would not immediately react to the factional crisis that is ripping apart the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

A FIFA spokesman told THISDAY that the ruling body would not immediately respond to the developments in Nigeria as it was studying the situation.

“We are monitoring the situation in Nigeria and can’t make further comments for the time being,” a FIFA spokesman said in a reply to THISDAY e-mail last night.

The fault line at the NFF deepened on Tuesday when a faction elected Chris Giwa as the new NFF president at the Annual General Assembly (AGA) in Abuja.

The other faction loyal to Aminu Maigari, the immediate past president of the NFF, also dissolved the Elections and Appeals Committee and fixed September 4 as the new date for the election to the NFF board.

While Maigari regained his freedom after spending a night in detention following his arrest by operatives of the state security service, the NFF Head of Legal Department, Okey Obi, was quizzed by the SSS and until press time last night, his whereabouts could not be accertained.

Before Maigari’s release, he  and Chris Green who was chairman of the Technical Committee of the dissolved board, were transferred from the SSS custody to the anti-robbery unit of the police force (SARS) headed by former Rivers State Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu. They were kept in the midst of armed robbery suspects. Both Mbu (now an AIG of the NPF) and Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo were members of the Rivers exco before the crisis faced by the Rotimi Amaechi administration.

Giwa assumed duty at the ‘Glass House’ and had an informal meeting with the other ‘elected’ members of the board as well as the members of staff of the federation.

He raced to the NFF office accompanied by a large retinue of aides and security operatives after he was introduced to the members of the Federal Executive Committee (FEC) in the morning by Danagogo.

It is always believed that the process of his election would be questioned by FIFA as election into the board of the NFF was not in the agenda of the congress. In addition, the absence of a FIFA observer at the factional election would give genuine reason for the entire exercise to be vitiated.

Giwa, however, insisted he was duly elected by the congress of Nigeria football. He said there would be no new election to the board by the Maigari faction on September 4.

The proprietor of Giwa FC also declined there was a split in the football family, adding there was nowhere in the NFF Statutes where it is provided that a FIFA representative must be present as an observer of the board election.

“It is not in the statutes that we should have a FIFA observer for the election. Whatever the congress says is what FIFA will follow. The process through which I emerged NFF President was perfectly in order. We had only one congress on Tuesday. At the last congress before now, we agreed there would be an elective congress on August 26. Therefore, anybody sitting outside the congress to bring out an agenda is wrong,” Giwa said.

He said the board will move to the new head office in the next two weeks and ensure that the secretariat operate in a conducive environment.

The House Sports Committee has summoned all the football stakeholders to appear before the committee today in Abuja.
THISDAY learned last night that the committee headed Hon Godfrey Gaiya summoned all the State FA Chairmen and the two factions that have been embroiled for the control of the NFF structure to the meeting where they will try to resolve the disputes.

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