It has been established that the special committee set up by the Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the Super Eagles row with the Nigeria Football Federation in June over match-win bonus is still awaiting response from some key persons expected to testify.
A highly placed person with knowledge of the work of the committee told The PUNCH on Monday that the committee was still awaiting responses from key Eagles players including team captain Joseph Yobo, Mikel Obi and team vice-captain Vicent Enyeama. Newsmen learnt that the committee, which is headed by the spokesperson to late President Umaru Yar’Adua, Mr Segun Adeniyi, and which met in another session in Abuja on Tuesday, had hoped to have received input from the players soon after they were inaugurated by the Minister.
The official said, “We have contacted them (Yobo, Mikel and Enyeama) through every modern means of communication available but there has not been any response from them. But we have had quite a lot of work done with some other players, both active and retired, the coaches and the members of the NFF.”
But in spite of the delay in response from the three players, the committee is working to submit their report within the stipulated time.
“The truth is that the work has been very thorough with what has been available to us. We have a strict schedule and we hope to keep to that schedule.”
The NFF General Secretary Mr. Musa Amadu and Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi are amongst those that have appeared before the panel.
The Eagles embarked on a strike after their 1-1 draw against Namibia in a 2014 World Cup qualifier in Windhoek in June. The players, who had earlier defeated Kenya 1-0 in Nairobi, insisted on $10,000 for the win against Kenya and $5000 for the draw against Namibia. The NFF had paid them half of the amount for the matches based on what the FA officials said was the newly approved bonuses which they also said they had duly informed the players ahead of schedule. The NFF based their decision on poor funding in recent times but the players rejected the decision and embarked on a strike, which ultimately delayed their arrival at the FIFA Confederations Cup, which held in Brazil in June.
But of the three players, only Mikel and Enyeama were part of the squad that embarked on the strike as Yobo has not featured for the team since Nigeria won the African cup in February.