After weeks of postulations and rumours, the Commissioner of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Mustapha, has declared that, contrary to insinuations, the chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko and the body’s chief operating officer, Salihu Abubakar, are not wanted men.
Mustapha, speaking during a meeting with Dikko, in the aftermath of the widely reported incident which occurred on Sunday, October 9, 2016, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Internal Airport, upon the arrival of the Super Eagles from their away victory against Zambia.
The meeting between Dikko, CP Mutapha and the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Operations, Garba Mohammed, in a follow-up to earlier meetings held on Monday, October 10 and Tuesday, October 11 with the Commissioner of Police (CP), Legal, at the Police headquarters and the office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the FCT Police boss stated that he had at no time ordered or directed the arrest of Dikko or Salihu Abubakar, the LMC Chief Operating Officer, for any reason whatsoever. He further recalled that some persons had approached his office in the night with a photocopy of an alleged Court order of the Jos High Court, which is outside his jurisdiction, purportedly for the committal of Dikko and Abubakar for contempt of court in Jos.
It will be recalled that, upon the arrival of the Super Eagles, accompanied by the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung; Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President Amaju Pinnick, as well as other senior government officials and NFF members, numerous newsmen and supporters, two unidentified men, at the time, had approached Dikko and insisted that he accompany them, as his attention required by the FCT CP. Both men were resisted after they failed to present any identification or warrant to that effect.
According to Mustapha, he merely directed two of his officers to take steps to invite the LMC officials to enable him hear their side of the matter, pending legal advice on the matter, having considered that the persons who the alleged order was directed at were public figures. According to the CP, the matter was compounded by the inability of his men to trace the persons who presented the said document. Mustapha noted that their disappearance could be due the realisation that they apparently supplied misleading information to the Police.
While speaking, Dikko clarified, with documentary evidence, that the LMC has filed an appeal against all the three orders made by the Jos High Court in the suit challenging the expulsion of Giwa FC from the league for multiple infractions of the Framework and Rules of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL). The LMC boss submitted that in accordance with legal procedures, all parties to the suit are, consequently, now before the Court of Appeal, Jos Division and have duly filed their papers for and against the appeal. The last adjourned date of the matter at the Court of Appeal was Tuesday, October 11, 2016.
He then urged the CP to impress on his men the need to allow the process of the law in the Court of Appeal to proceed unhindered in this matter, so as not to inhibit the jurisdiction of the court in any way, pending the making of final orders or judgment in the case, which is totally civil in nature.
Mustapha, in his response, said that he received appropriate legal advice, both from the office of the IGP and his own FCT Command legal office on the need for the Police to maintain neutrality in this civil case, since all parties were before the Court of Appeal and had submitted their issues for adjudication by that Court.
LEADERSHIP Sports understands that the FCT Police boss further directed the DCP Operations to beef up security within the LMC offices and around the person of the LMC chairman to ensure safety of all.