The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is heading to the Supreme Court and has hired two Senior Advocates of Nigeria to appeal against the Appeal Court ruling over the Ibrahim Gusau Athletics Federation Nigeria leadership crisis.
A source in the Ministry’s Legal Department disclosed that the Ministry was utterly shocked at the outcome of the appeal and “is definitely heading to the Supreme Court”.
“What do you expect”? the source queried. “This individual sued the Minister and the Ministry in the first instance dragging them through the courts after he shunned all panels and processes put in place to resolve the matter.”
For over a year now, the AFN has been embroiled in leadership crisis with Gusau, who was alleged to be running the AFN illegally against the resolution of nine members of the 13 board membership and the constitution of the Federation.
The AFN and the supervisory ministry had been at loggerheads after a faction led by Olamide George, the federation’s vice president, suspended Gusau as the AFN president, which forced the Gusau-led board to declare autonomy from the sports ministry last December at the federation’s congress in Awka, Anambra State.
Gusau also dragged the sports ministry to the Federal High Court in Abuja, with the court ruling July 1 that he remained the AFN president.
The Appeal Court also affirmed the High Court ruling, throwing out the sports ministry’s appeal for lacking merit September 25.
A source in the sports ministry said two Senior Advocates of Nigeria would lead the ministry’s legal team.
He said, “What do you expect? This individual sued the minister and the ministry in the first instance, dragging them through the courts after he shunned all panels and processes put in place to resolve the matter.”
Since last year, Gusau has been in loggerhead with some members of the AFN board who suspended him in December over his leadership style.
The aggrieved board members also appointed the Vice President, Olamide George as acting President, while alleging that Gusau has been running federation illegally against the resolution of 9 members of the 13 board membership and the constitution of the Federation.
Meanwhile, Gusau is now making frantic efforts to meet the Minister of Youth and Sports Development to resolve the crisis in line with the counsel of World Athletics (WA) according to the NationSport.
“As I am speaking with you, Gusau is concerned about the athletes and he is making efforts to meet the Minister so that the crisis can be resolved amicably just like the WA advised in the letter sent to the Minister last month,” a reliable source who pleaded anonymity told NationSport.
“He believes the lingering crisis will surely dampen the spirit of the athletes heading to the year of the Olympics and he would soon send a letter to the minister to seek an audience so that the impasse can be brought to an end as soon as possible.”