The leader of the Restore Confidence Team in the recent Gambia Football Federation elections, Sadibou Kamaso has written a petition to both Caf and Fifa about the conduct of the recent GFF elections. The full letter is reproduced below:
Dear Secretary General,
On behalf of my team and my humble self, I respectfully write to your esteemed office to officially petition against the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) President’s actions and that of the GFF Electoral Committee on matters touching and concerning the GFF Elective Congress held on the 27th day of August 2022 at the Paradise Suites Hotel. The reasons for this petition are highlighted hereunder for your kind attention and possible action:
- Following the inauguration of the GFF Electoral Committee in May 2022, the said committee as per the GFF Electoral Code Article 3(1) which states “The Electoral Committee shall organize and supervise the election process and take all decisions relating to elections within the GFF”, is expected to take full responsibility of supervising the GFF Elections without any undue influence. Thishowever, was never the case in this instance as we had been reliably informed by active members of the GFF Executive that the GFF President who without communicating to the General Assembly to select a date for the election or allow the Electoral Committee to choose one and communicate same to the stakeholders, proposed a date that suited him so he can attend all the Regional Football Association Finals in his quest to canvass for votes ion the said regions. Members of my team and I were denied entry to some of the same Regional Football finals by the organisers i.e the Regional Football Association Presidents or asked not attend out of fear. One typical example is that of Central River Region finals where we were told by the President of the region that we shouldn’t attend
- The General Secretary who as per Article 5(2) serves as Secretary to the Electoral Committee by virtue of his position as the head of the GFF Secretariat has in many instances been involved in the campaign for the incumbent to our disadvantage despite his role as a member of the Committee and the need for his neutrality. This is a clear violation of the GFF Electoral Code. A letter of complaint was written to this effect and addressed to the Chairman of the Committee dated 27th June 2022. The said letter was meant to bring the afore-mentioned issues to the attention of the Chairman and also a request that the GFF General Secretary who has already shown his biased interest in the said elections to recuse himself from the committee and be replaced by a substitute. A copy of the said letter is attached and marked “TRC1”
- On the 29th day of June 2022, our team received a reply to our letter from the Vice Chairman of the GFF Electoral Committee who instead of investigating our claims, focused on reminding us that it is the same GFF Electoral Code that states that the General Secretary is a member of the GFF Electoral Committee as per Article 5(2) of the said code. It is our understanding that the author of the letter and the members of the committee either did not understand the contents of our letter or just chose to ignore the facts stated therein because the same Electoral Code indicated that a member should recuse him/herself from the Electoral Committee in the event he or she has a vested interest in the elections or is in support of any contesting individual. A copy of the Vice Chairman of the GFF Electoral Committee’s letter is attached and marked “TRC2”.
- On the 6th day of July 2022, despite an earlier verbal protest by MR. SADIBOU KAMASO directly to the GFF President against the selection of one MR. KARALANG JATTA as a member of the Electoral Committee which protest was brushed aside, our team again wrote a protest letter addressed to the Chairman of the electoral committee and requested to have the Chairman MR. LAMIN SANNEH and MR. KARALANG JATTA both government officials resign from the said committee citing Articles 3(4)(c) and 3(5). The said articles state “The Members of the Electoral Committee must immediately decline to give an opinion and withdraw from the matter in progress if they are: (c) a Government official of any kind” and “in the event that a member of the Electoral Committee does not fulfil the above requirements, the member in question shall immediately leave his position and be replaced by a substitute”. A copy of the said letter is also attached and marked “TRC3”.
- Despite not receiving any reply to the afore-mentioned letter, there was publication in the Standard Newspaper that both members of the committee resigned after receiving our letter and referred to the GFF Electoral Code. It was our belief at this point that the members of the GFF Electoral Code either did not read the said code to acquaint themselves with same or were unable to interpret the code which they were to enforce. A copy of the Standard Newspaper publication is attached and marked “TRC4”
- Again, on the 2nd day of August 2022, after the official publication of the list on nominated candidates for the Elective Congress which was published on the 29th day of July 2022, our team wrote again to the Chairman of the GFF Electoral Committee to bring to his attention the fact that one MR. NUMUKUNDA KANYI a member of the GFF President’s team who at the time of filing his nomination and until now is the President of Central River Region Football Association which is already an official GFF Executive Position and yet the same individual had his nomination accepted for the 3rd Vice Presidential Position of the same Executive. This is not only a violation of the democratic principles of good governance but morally and ethically wrong because the said gentleman was vying for a position in an Executive in which he was already a member without resigning from his other position. A copy of the letter to this effect is attached and marked “TRC5”.
- The Electoral Committee instead of investigating our claims again to ensure a free and fair nomination, replied to our letter on the 5th August 2022 and asked that we Appeal their decision despite the fact that there is an eligibility form that is filled by every candidate clearly indicating their current position and it was therefore incomprehensible how they could have allowed such a nomination. Again, it is our belief that the said committee members lack the understanding of the said code or chose to turn a blind eye to issues being raised against members or supporters of the GFF President’s team. A copy of this letter is attached and marked “TRC6”
- At the time of collecting forms for the nomination of candidates, members of my team took note with great concern, an anomaly after having been told by the GFF Communications Director that the Evidence of Collection of Nomination forms (Official receipt) which is collected from the GFF secretariat from GFF staff should indicate who they were nominating at the time of collecting the forms. This we knew to be very wrong and against the nomination process and same was immediately brought to the attention of the Chairman of the Electoral committee through a telephone call by MR. SADIBOU KAMASO call to correct the situation which was later indeed corrected. It was our strong belief that this process was meant to give the GFF president and his Executive the opportunity to know beforehand those who were nominating candidates for elective positions. Copies of the 1st Official Receipt and 2nd Official Receipt of Evidence of Collection of Nomination are attached and marked “TRC7” and “TRC8”
- Our belief that the names of members collecting forms and who they nominate will be shared with the GFF President above was later confirmed when a GFF staff in the name of MUHAMMED SINERA who had no connections whatsoever with the Electoral Committee explained to a member of our team one MODOU LAMIN CONTEH that he was already aware of those clubs who had already collected and signed for nomination forms as well candidates they were to nominate.
- Pursuant to a request by a letter dated 5th August 2022 emanating from the Electoral Committee asking for the members of the GFF General Assembly to send in their list of delegates for the Elective Congress, Young Africans Football Club, a club SADIBOU KAMASO became affiliated to as a member since August 3rd 2022, in a letter dated 11th August 2022, submitted the club’s delegates’ list which contained the names of MR. OUSAINU DARBO – President and SADIBOU KAMASO – Executive member. It was also stated in the said letter that MR. OUSAINU DARBO is the delegate with the voting right. A copy of the said letter is attached and marked “TRC9”. It is worth mentioning at this point that the letter from the Electoral Committee was bizarre in the sense that there was a particular request for members to state the name of delegate with the voting right which has never been the case at any point in time. This in our strong opinion was meant to give the incumbent the opportunity to invite those delegates with voting rights with a view to induce or coerce them into voting him as he has access to all the documents being submitted to the GFF Electoral Committee through staff of the GFF who work under him.
- This is further confirmed in a leaked audio where delegates with voting rights were invited to a local hotel in Senegambia on the eve of the election where they were served dinner and other inducement tactics employed to have them vote for the incumbent. One begins to wonder how the GFF President was able to identify the actual voters? Electronic link to said audio can be found at https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=pfbid02Lnavgtpme1fGa4dsQDi1dmgetv67DGXdmaaxEepXgZMwKBLeDQ2B7JPprwMaxLNxl&id=738801737.
- Again, the said information was further confirmed in an online newspaper interview with the GFF President and can be access on https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=pfbid027nVNRUNyFMRoQzRWPKHsgxi5ztVLzHB2tj7ifY9E9dqTV8y94a8eQqZ9UX4mcVN1l&id=65902836676. It the said interview the GFF President admitted to have invited voting delegates to the hotel.
- Again, the GFF has its own hotel based in Old Yundum called the GFF Football Hotel where delegates are hosted. Instead of hosting the regional delegates at the Football Hotel as the case has always been for AGMs to save resources, the GFF President and his executive booked rooms for these delegates at Metzy Hotel and African Princess not only to bring them closer to their meeting point but to entice them with promises of contracts or employment positions.
- In a letter dated the 17th August 2022, the Electoral Committee through its Chairman wrote to Young Africans to request for proof of MR. SADIBOU KAMASO’s affiliation to Young Africans FC. A copy of the said letter is Attached and marked “TRC10”.
- In response to the said letter, Young Africans FC through a letter dated 18th August 2022, provided copies of letters of correspondence to show that a meeting was held by the said club Executive on the 2nd day of August 2022 where it was resolved that SADIBOU KAMASO’s request to join Young Africans FC was accepted and that a letter was written to him on the 3rd day of August 2022 to inform him of same. A copy of SADIBOU KAMASO’s letter of acceptance together with his invitation to join Young Africans FC as an Executive member dated the 3rd August 2022 was also provided to this effect as evidence. Copies of the said letters are attached and marked “TRC11” and “TRC12”.
- On the 23rd day of August 2022, the Electoral Committee again wrote to Young Africans to inform the club that only MR. OUSAINU DARBO is allowed to come in as a delegate to the said Elective Congress. In their letter, they stated that as per their records and knowledge, Mr. SADIBOU KAMASO is currently the General Secretary of Hawks FC and RED HAWKS FC and that going back to their nomination process which was closed on the 28th day of July 2022, MR. SADIBOU KAMASO himself stated in his nomination paper that he is affiliated to Hawks FC and not otherwise. Thus, the timing of the letter from Young Africans and MR. KAMASO’s acceptance to serve in the Executive Committee of Young Africans is questionable. The said letter is attached and marked “TRC13”.
- Upon receipt of the said afore-mentioned letter from the Electoral Committee, Young Africans through the club’s General Secretary MR. MALANG DARBOE, replied to the Electoral Committee, a copy of which is attached and marked “TRC14”. In the said letter, the General Secretary did not deny the fact that MR. SADIBOU KAMASO at the time of submitting his nomination papers on the 28th day of July 2022 was still a bona-fide member of Hawks FC because he had in fact signed a cheque on behalf of the club on the same date, a copy of which signed cheque by SADIBOU KAMASO is attached marked “TRC15”. However, late evening on the same 28th day of July 2022, Mr. KAMASO received a call from a renowned journalist LAMIN CHAM from Standard Newspaper asking him if he was aware of any letter from Hawks FC dated 10th July 2022 and signed by the Hawks FC President sent to GFF informing them that his signature was withdrawn. MR. KAMASO made it clear that he was not privy to any such document, that no one had told him anything about this and he had in fact earlier on that day signed a cheque for the club.
- The said letter by Young Africans Secretary General also reminded the GFF Electoral Committee that the GFF has no records whatsoever of club officials who serve in the different clubs. As a matter of fact, the transfer of club officials (not players) from one club to another has never been a subject of scrutiny or supervision by the GFF because so many individuals have moved from one club to another without any official notification to the GFF so why would SADIBOU KAMASO’s case be an exception? It is our belief that the submission of SADIBOU KAMASO’s name as a delegate by Young Africans FC is very valid and the move by the GFF and the Electoral Committee was meant to disadvantage him and bar him from entering the congress hall.
- On the following day which is the 29th day of July 2022, Standard Newspaper published an article with the same story. A copy of the said article is attached and marked “TRC16”. Although SADIBOU KAMASO was yet to receive any copy of such a letter despite the publication, the said story was further confirmed by the publication of the list of nominated officials by the GFF Electoral Committee for elective positions wherein both Hawks FC and RED HAWKS FC had filed in nomination forms for MR. EBOU FAYE. A copy of the said publication by the GFF Electoral Committee on its website is attached and marked “TRC17”.
- It is important to note that as per the Electoral Committee’s communique, all nomination forms must be signed by both the Club President and General Secretary without which they are invalid unless either of the parties who for one reason or the other may not be able to sign, must write and officially delegate another individual to sign on their behalf. This was not the case here as SADIBOU KAMASO had never delegated anyone to sign the Hawks FC nomination forms on his behalf but the Electoral Committee relied on a letter which MR KAMASO himself never set eyes on to accept the nominations of MR. EBOU FAYE. It was therefore bizarre that the Electoral Committee could accept nomination papers sent by Hawks FC and RED Hawks FC signed by another individual and still claim that their records show SADIBOU KAMASO was still affiliated to Hawks FC with no letter from SADIBOU KAMASO giving reasons why he didn’t sign the nomination papers.
- It is worth mentioning at this point that, having read the Standard Newspaper Article with utter shock and surprise about Hawks FC’s withdrawal of SADIBOU KAMASO’s signature coupled with the publication of the list of nominated officials by the Electoral Committee, he realised there were conspiracies to bar him from taking part in the elections based on technicalities because he should have been copied in whatever letters Hawks FC sent to the GFF Secretariat that concerns him.
- SADIBOU KAMASO immediately initiated discussions with Young Africans FC one of the clubs that filed in nomination papers for his candidature with a view to become a member. On the 2nd day of August 2022, Young Africans FC Executive met and resolved to have him join the club as a board member in a letter dated 3rd August 2022. SADIBOU immediately wrote back to the club on the same day to accept their invitation. His letter of acceptance was however preceded by a letter he had personally written to the Hawks FC bankers to inform them of his decision to cease to become a signatory to all accounts in the club’s name. A copy of which letter was also shared with Young Africans FC is attached and marked “TRC18”.
- In another letter signed by the GFF Electoral Committee Chairman addressed to Young Africans FC, the said committee informed Young Africans FC that MR. SADIBOU KAMASO is not allowed to come in as a delegate but can only enter the elective congress hall as a candidate and cannot partake in the deliberations citing the timing of his affiliation to the said Club. An Instant reply was sent to the GFF Electoral Committee to defend Young African’s position to have SADIBOU KAMASO as a delegate by virtue of my position as an Executive Member. There was no reply to the said letter and none until now.
- It is pertinent to note that an Extraordinary Congress and an Elective Congress were both scheduled on the 27th August 2022 where the former was to be presided over by the GFF president while the latter is presided over by the Chairman of the Electoral Committee. The question to ask at this point is on what powers or statutes was the Electoral Committee Chairman relying on to Bar MR. KAMASO from entering the Extraordinary Congress which he had no control or powers over? Or was this a plot by the GFF President and his general Secretary who instructed the GFF Security Officer to ask the Police to prevent MR. KAMASO from entering the hall knowing full well he would have had great influence over his supporters during the Constitutional Amendment?
- Notwithstanding, a letter of appeal dated 24th August 2022 addressed to the Chairman of the GFF Electoral Appeals Committee was hand delivered by MR. SADIBOU KAMASO himself appealing against the Electoral Committee’s decision to bar him from attending the GFF Extraordinary and Elective Congress as a delegate without substantial backing of such a decision. Up to the time of writing this petition, there has been no response whatsoever from the Electoral not the Electoral Appeals Committee. A copy of the said letter of appeal is attached and marked “TRC19”.
- As earlier stated, the GFF President was made privy to the list of delegates coming to vote which he used to invite all of the VOTING DELEGATES to a local hotel in Senegambia where they were induced and coerced into voting for him. The delegates were provided meals and offered positions in exchange for votes to our disadvantage as we had no access whatsoever to the list of the voting delegates. SADIBOU KAMASO had personally raised the issue of having GFF staff not gaining access to the list of voting delegates with the Chairman of the GFF Electoral Committee citing instances where information that was meant to be confidential was being shared with the GFF President. It is our fervent belief that the fact the Electoral Committee at the time of asking for the list of delegates, requested for the names of the voting delegate to be clearly written was simply meant to identify the voters for ease of access to them by the GFF President knowing full well my team and I won’t have any access to such information.
- During the above-mentioned meeting between the GFF President, his team and the voting delegates in a local hotel on the eve of the election, which meeting is against the ethical principles of the FIFA, captured in a leaked audio, the delegates were asked to do the following:
- Sit together in the congress hall as a group supporting the incumbent as opposed to the usual sitting arrangement in all GFF congresses where congress delegates are seated in alphabetical order.
- Vote for Constitutional Amendment just before the Elective Congress which amendment was meant to add the position of a 4th Vice President who is already associated with the GFF President’s team.
- Do block and or group voting.
- Have identifications ready to be issued tags based on the pre-planned security arrangements being planned by the CAF/FIFA Security Officer who is also a member of the incumbent’s team with a view to have limited number of people from our team in the hall.
- It is worth mentioning at this point that all these issues discussed in the hotel that night were information only the incumbent’s team was privy to. The Electoral Committee had at no point in time explained the voting procedure, accreditation for independent observers talk less of an organised sitting as per congress norms.
- On the day of the Extraordinary and Elective Congress i.e 27th August 2022, despite Young Africans FC’s reply to the Electoral Committee and appeal to the Electoral Appeals Committee respectively, upon SADIBOU KAMASO’s arrival at the congress venue around 7.45am, he was denied entry by the Police Intervention Unit Security Officer in charge. The Officer in charge informed him that he was waiting for the GFF Security Officer to come with the list of delegates allowed to enter the congress hall and that SADIBOU KAMASO should wait outside. When the GFF Security Officer arrived some 45 minutes later, he informed SAIDBOU KAMASO that he was not allowed to enter the congress hall by the Chairman of the GFF Electoral Committee to take part in the Extraordinary Congress which was in no way under the mandate of the Electoral Committee. The Extraordinary congress was a GFF activity and not an election matter so our team found it peculiar that the Chairman of the Electoral Committee could give out instructions to bar anyone from entering the hall for the extraordinary congress where the constitutional amendment was taking place to the advantage of the GFF President and his team.
- MR. SADIBOU KAMASO referred the GFF Security Officer MR. BADJIE to the GFF constitution and reminded him that this move was unconstitutional and absolutely wrong and that he needed to understand whatever rule he was enforcing but he MR. BADJIE insisted that he was doing his job and had no time to read the GFF constitution to understand whether his acts were right or wrong.
- When SADIBOU KAMASO tried to enter the main complex of the congress hall having seen the GFF President and his supporters given accreditation cards and access, Members of our team and SADIBOU KAMASO were barred from entering congress hall part of which chaos was witnessed by officials of the National Sports Council in the names of MR. EBRIMA SECKA and MR. MAHMOUD LAMIN JAWLA, both of whom were at the gate while our team was being denied entry. The security at the gate were adamant that our team and SADIBOU KAMASO in particular was not going to enter the hall to attend the Extraordinary Congress on the instructions of the Electoral Committee Chairman. Members of our team and leader SADIBOU KAMASO after long arguments at the said gate were forcefully removed from the entrance which was captured on national television. Copies of photos of the said scene are attached and marked “TRC20” to “TRC 26”
- Elsewhere another member of our team who is a delegate for B4U KIANG WEST FC and a candidate for Executive position MR. PA ALIEU CEESAY was manhandled at the first entrance and asked to produce a delegate’s card or not be allowed in when delegate cards were being issued at the second entrance which was after the point he was stopped.
- Most members of our team including those co-opted in our executive list were denied entry but the spouse of the GFF Finance Director, other members and supporters of the GFF President’s team were all issued observer’s cards and allowed when there was no official announcement by the Electoral Committee with regards to the issuance of observer cards. The observer cards were only issued to The GFF President’s team so they can create an intimidating atmosphere in the congress hall and also keep tabs on the delegates they had taken to a hotel on the eve of the election to ensure they vote for because they were all made to sit in one group as a bloc.
- While seated outside in his car, our team leader SADIBOU KAMASO was made to understand that Amendments to the Constitution to add the position of a female Vice President who shall be the president on Women’s football and two other members to be co-opted were taking place presided over by the GFF President. It is note worthy that the said Amendment was being made to favour the incumbent as the said position being added was at the material time occupied by a member and supporter of the GFF President’s team which is against the tenets of good governance and democracy. It is our belief that an Amendment which is the position of a Vice President should not have been made with such a condition but rather a position that would be open for election for members from both teams. This was not the case because the President brought this idea to accommodate an extra person to secure the votes of the Women’s Football Association to his advantage.
- Article 31.3 of the GFF Constitution states “For a vote on an amendment to the statutes to be valid, an absolute majority (50+1) of the members eligible to vote must be present.” The total number of members eligible to vote as per the GFF Constitution is 77.
- Article 31.4 states “A proposal for an amendment to the Statutes shall be adopted only if two thirds of the members present and eligible to vote agree to it.”
- To the utter surprise and dismay of our team and leader SADIBOU KAMASO, the GFF President passed the resolution for the amendments to the constitution when out of 77 voting delegates, only 45 delegates voted for the amendment which was less than two thirds of the delegate whilst the rest abstained or voted against. As per the roll call on the day of the congress, all 77 members of the GFF General Assembly were present. Thus, the adoption of the amendment was one of the gross constitutional violations made to accommodate the said 4th Vice President position in favour of the incumbent. The two thirds majority of the 77 delegates is definitely 51 and above nothing less, so how was such a gross violation of the constitution allowed to pass?
- The GFF President and his team in their defence, after their attention drawn to the fact that some of the voters to this amendment were current serving members of the GFF Executive who as per Article 23.4 of the GFF constitution are not to represent their respective associations as delegates still went ahead with the amendments despite violating Article 23.4 of the GFF Constitution.
- Despite the fact some of the GFF Executive members couldn’t have taken part in the voting for the Amendment of the Constitution, it is worth noting that each member has more than one delegate who could have voted irrespective of whether the GFF Executive had voting rights or not. The second delegates could have still voted but this was not the case because the number recorded that voted for an Amendment was 45, way short of the 51 required. Accepting to adopt the Amendment was the first intimidation mechanism used to have the voters on his side and also violate the GFF Constitution. This Amendment should be declared null and void.
- Article 23.4 of the GFF Constitution states “The members of the Executive Committee and the General Secretary shall take part in the General Assembly without voting rights. During their term of office, members of the executive Committee shall not be appointed as delegates for their Association.”
- The GFF Executive members did not adhere to this as almost all of them went into the Extraordinary Congress as delegates for their respective associations which was in contravention of the Article 23.4 of the GFF Constitution.
- Again, the GFF Congresses and any organised Assembly always have well-arranged sitting arrangements done alphabetically and according to the association they represent. In this case, the GFF President using his coercion and inducement strategies asked all those who are perceived to support him to sit in one corner as a bloc so they could monitor those who had promised to vote for them. This I must say was an intimidating atmosphere although some of them will not publicly admit to same.
- Bona-fide members of clubs like our leader SADIBOU KAMASO were denied entry to the Extraordinary Congress by the security on the instructions of the Electoral Committee Chairman but our team has concrete evidence of individuals who do not belong to some particular clubs but were issued delegates cards to attend on behalf of those clubs. A typical example is one EBRIMA CEESAY who is a member of the Immigration FC and also an associate of Women’s Football, issued a delegate card for BANJUL UNITED when he had no association or affiliation to BANJUL UNITED. A copy of a picture of the said EBRIMA CEESAY using a BANJUL UNITED delegate card is attached and marked “TRC26” whereas the same EBRIMA CEESAY in another photo during our team meeting with Women’s Football Association and him in uniform are attached and marked “TRC27’ and “TRC28”. The said EBRIMA CEESAY has no affiliation or association whatsoever with BANJUL UNITED.
- Another instance of such scenario is the case of Lt. Col. MUSA JAMMEH who is a confirmed board member of GAMBIA ARMED FORCES FC and Director of Finance of the Gambia Armed Forces, a 1st Division Club but issued a delegate tag of FALCONS FC, another 1st Division Club. The latter is either another fraudulent act by the GFF Leadership with the help of the Electoral Committee or a clear ignorance of the FIFA Code of ethics where one individual cannot serve on the board of two clubs that play in the same league. This therefore takes us back to the issue of the Electoral Committee questioning the timing of SADIBOU KAMASO’s affiliation to Young Africans because it is clear that the rules governing membership to clubs were only tightened and meant to disadvantage members of our team. Was the issuance of a delegate card bearing Falcons FC to Lt. Col. MUSA JAMMEH act to misinform the General Assembly or a blatant ignorance of the FIFA Code of ethics by the GFF Executive and MR. JAMMEH who are all aware of the FIFA rules regarding one person serving on the board of two clubs playing in the same league?
- Close friends, family members, associates of the President and his supporters were all issued delegate cards to attend the congress hall to create an intimidating atmosphere for those perceived to support them and our team.
- SADIBOU KAMASO was barred from entering the Extraordinary Congress and only allowed to come into the hall when the official amendments and other activities in favour of the President were carried out
- It is our strongest conviction that despite all the irregularities and unethical tactics employed by the GFF President, his Executive and the Electoral Committee the amendment to the Constitution is not in line with the spirit and democratic principles of the Constitution of the GFF for the simple reason that The GFF Executive Committee’s main reason to carry out an amendment of Article 34.1 of the Constitution of the GFF to increase its membership from fifteen (15) to sixteen (16) by creating a new position of the 4th Vice President, who shall be the President of the Women’s Football Association without subjecting it to election by the General Assembly. This is in contravention of the provisions of Articles 24(c) and 34.2 of the Constitution of the GFF which makes it mandatory for Executive Members to be elected or confirmed in case of the members of the Regional Football Associations by the General Assembly when they the Regional Football Association Presidents would have been earlier elected at their respective regional congresses. Therefore, we are of the view that Articles 24(c) and 34.1 of the Constitution of the GFF cannot be amended without amending Article 34.2 of the same Constitution. For ease of reference Articles 24(c) and 34.2 of the Constitution of GFF are hereby reproduced:
Article 24(c) “The General Assembly has the following authority-
(c) Electing the President and Vice Presidents and members of the Executive Committee”
Article 34.2 “The members of the Executive Committee shall be elected individually by the General Assembly. Every candidate in the election of Executive Committee members must be proposed by at least one member. Members of the Regional Football Associations shall be elected by the Regions and confirmed by the GFF General Assembly.”
- We are of the strongest opinion that the amendment to the Constitution is not in good faith but a carefully calculated move to increase delegates and voters in favour of the incumbent on the day of elective congress. The proposed amendment is not only unconstitutional but will also undermine the authority of General Assembly to hold the holder of the position of the 4th Vice President accountable in accordance with the Constitution of the GFF. Going by the amendment, the position of the 4th Vice President is an important one like other vice presidents and it therefore cannot be constitutionally subjected to an automatic assumption of office without election by the General Assembly which includes submission of nomination papers and Eligibility Checks.
In light of the facts and evidence above, we hereby submit this protest for your kind attention and possibly action not only to ensure that our game is rid of maladministration of elections and extraordinary congress conducted by the GFF President, his executive and the Electoral Committee but if possible set up a committee to investigate the claims stated here above and take necessary action to protect the rights and liberties of all stakeholders in football, which will contribute to the country’s football development.
Team Restore Confidence