Counsel to Ekiti State Football Association, Barrister Femi Familusi has shed more light on the reasons why the 14-days jail sentence handed the FA boss, Bayo Olanlege and five other members by an Ado Ekiti magistrate court was not served.
Recall that an Ekiti State Chief Magistrate of the Ado Ekiti Magisterial District had last week Thursday sentenced Bayo Olanlege, Ariyo Amos Yomi, Fatukasi Ilesanmi, Ajibewa Adeniyi, Ibidun Isaac and Aregbesola Olumiyiwa to prison for 14 days for contempt of court.
But 24 hours later, all persons were released following another injunction which set aside the ruling.
Addressing newsmen, Barrister Familusi stated that his clients did not disobey any court order to warrant their conviction as witnessed on Thursday, describing the conviction as an error and judicial somersault.
In his words, “This whole process have turned my clients to heroes because those who took what was supposed to be an in-house matter to court apparently could not say they are true lovers of football.
“In the first place are we supposed to be in court? Some people, whom I will describe as men of yesteryears conspired out of their selfish interest and aspiration to bring down the good move to bring development to football in the state, approached a court using all manners of blackmails and lies just to pull down the association.
“The truth may not travel faster but it will get to the destination, he said.
“No order was violated; I consider what happened on Thursday as the lowest moment for the judiciary in Nigeria, the rule of law and the administration of justice.”
Reacting to the crisis, Olanlege said he was not rattled by the turn of events on Thursday, adding that he was rather embarrassed that some individuals were hell-bent on thwarting efforts to develop football and sports in the state.
“I felt embarrassed because we are building a very good image for football using Ekiti FA. We are also building a very good image in sports generally”.
“I was displeased that we thought we were having such a wonderful system building something together only for some to think the best thing they could do was to try to embarrass the government or try to embarrass the game, but thank God, that did not happen”, Olanlege said.
The Ekiti FA boss said though litigation was good for the system, “It has to be done in the right way. You need to report to the right authorities in the Nigeria Football Federation. You don’t take football matters to court and that is very important and that has to be abided by.”