Ex-NPL boss Baribote backs LMC licence withdrawal by Buhari regime
Victor Baribote, a former chairman, Nigeria Premier League (NPL), has thrown his weight behind the federal government’s directive on the withdrawal of the operating licence of the League Management Company (LMC).
Speaking with journalists on Sunday, Baribote described the LMC as an illegal conception aborted by legality.
“Why all these noises about LMC? Some of us are not good students of history. I think the question we should ask ourselves is how did the so-called LMC come into existence?” He said.
On Friday, the federal government advised the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to immediately withdraw LMC’s licence as operator of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
A statement by Ismaila Abubakar, permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, said this was because of several unpleasant incidents regarding the management of the football league in the country.
He noted that an elected NPL board was removed by certain people in the absence of members.
“This they did without any of the board members present, and the minister masterminded the coup, and heaven did not fall against this illegality of the highest order.
“Today, if another minister seeing the realities on ground decided to put a stop to an act that is not known to the laws of the land, I don’t see anything wrong with such an action,” he said.
He argued that it was wrong for one to use an instrument of government to source funds and still be the one to spend such funds in running his private company registered under the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).
Baribote, a one-time second vice president of the NFF, pointed out that the government reserves the right to say it doesn’t recognise the LMC as a body under the Federal Ministry of Sport.
He stressed that it was within the purview of the sports ministry not to recognise the LMC and so directed the NFF to withdraw the license that was wrongly contracted to the company.
“Again, take a look at page 3 of the NFF Statutes second to the last paragraph NPL means Nigeria Premier League, the body subordinate and duly recognised by NFF and responsible for the organisation of Premier League Football in Nigeria
“Furthermore, Article 78 sub(2) also states, ‘The executive committee may delegate to NFF’s subordinate leagues the authority to organise competitions.
“The competitions organised by the leagues shall not interfere with those competitions organised by NFF. Competitions organised by NFF shall take priority.”
“Even the court cannot but help one to enforce an illegal contract.
“It is therefore within the purview of the Sports Ministry not to recognise the LMC and so direct the NFF to withdraw the license that was wrongly contracted to the LMC.
“So why are we making heavy weather out of nothing? ” Baribote said.
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