The Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko has met with the leadership of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command in the aftermath of the widely reported incident which occurred on Sunday, 9th October, 2016 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on the arrival of the Super Eagles from their away victory against Zambia.
Dikko met with the FCT Commissioner of Police (CP) Mohammed Mustapha and the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in charge of Operations, Garba Mohammed, in a follow up to earlier meetings he had on Monday, October 10 and Tuesday, October 11 with the Commissioner of Police, Legal, at the Police headquarters and the office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), during which the incident at the airport was reported.
It will be recalled that upon the arrival of the Super Eagles, accompanied by the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung; Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick; other senior government officials and NFF members as well as numerous newsmen and supporters, two unidentified men, at the time, had approached Dikko, who is also NFF 2nd Vice President, and insisted that he accompanies them to the Abuja Police headquarters. They had claimed that his attention was required by the FCT CP, but did not present any identification or warrant to that effect.
Dikko had informed the men that he would see the Abuja CP in the morning as it was already past midnight then and went further to contact the Police HQ to ascertain the veracity of the said invitation, while the Hon. Minister also spoke to the Abuja CP through the phone of one of the officers. However, despite being directed by authorities at the Police Headquarters and the Abuja CP to leave, the two officers remained within vicinity leading to some altercation with those at the airport, which resulted in a firearm being discharged in circumstances that are still unclear.
At the meeting, Mohammed, 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.
He also explained that he became suspicious of the said document being a photocopy which had also not been properly endorsed by any Court in the FCT as required by law. The CP said 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 advise on the matter having considered that the persons who the alleged order was directed at were the Chairman and a Director of LMC who are well known public figures.
According to the CP, the matter was compounded by the fact that his men have been unable to trace these persons who presented the said document, since these events, noting that this could be due the realization that they apparently supplied misleading information to the Police.
At the meeting, 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 NPFL. Giwa was expelled for refusing to play three commutative scheduled matches within the season. 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, 11th October, 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.
CP Mustapha in his response, said he has received appropriate legal advise 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 are before the Court of Appeal and have submitted their issues for adjudication by that Court. He assured that the IGP places great premium on his officers and men being law-abiding and that his Command will be guided by this position and refrain from interfering with this case and the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal.