NNL: Insurance reject judgement on Ikenne show of shame

Photo: Insurance led by Edo Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu warming up before a match.
By George Aluo

The management of the Arsenal of Nigerian football, Bendel Insurance has rejected the decision of the league board (NNL) on the Ikenne show of shame where players and officials of the club were battered by thugs of Remo Stars.

Insurance management in a release made available to described the NNL decision as ‘biased’, even as it vowed not to continue to honor her matches until the club gets justice.

Below is the the club’s release signed by media officer, Kehinde Osagiede…

“We received the Nigeria National Football (NNL) Disciplinary Committee’s judgement on the case of assault, security breaches and Field encroachment established against Remo Stars with dismay, disbelief and total loss of confidence in the country’s football regulatory body.

We see the judgement as biased and nothing but an instrument for encouraging further violence in Nigeria football, a call to anarchy, and is therefore unacceptable.

The only substance derivable from the judgment is the untouchable status vested on Remo Stars by NNL.

Directing Remo Stars to pay N400,000 to Bendel Insurance FC as damages is a big insult to us and the people of Edo state.

Banishment of Remo Stars with no option from their stadium over the encroachment and assault on our players and officials would have been the first action taken against Remo Stars. The failure of the disciplinary committee to  mention that in their list of sanctions amounts to suffocation of justice. This is so because no other offender(s) in similar cases were warned or asked to sign any undertaking in the recent past.

Without any apology, the judgment is unbelievably irresponsible and capable of promoting violence among football lovers and killing the enthusiasm of football supporters in the country.

Considering  similar cases ( though with lesser offences and injuries) involving Holly Arrows in which the judgment banished Holly Arrows to Enugu;  and that of Kano Pillars in which the NPFL team was fined N7.5M, it is easy to arrive at the conclusion that the  judgement by the NNL disciplinary committee on Remo Stars v Bendel Insurance FC is bought by Remo Stars.

We believe that the panel did not look at the rules book, particularly(Act.16:1-4) before arriving at their conclusion.

Insurance FC will therefore explore other legal alternatives to seek Adequate redress by way of appealing to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Appeal Committee and may go to higher authority.

Grounds of appeal:
1. The Issue of encroachment which has been established warrants a ban on the Remo Stars home venue.

2. Physical assault which has also been established warrants disciplinary action against the Remo FC officials involved.

3. The NNL should institute criminal prosecution against the Remo FC officials and supporters identified to have physically assaulted Insurance players and officials.

4. Ogun State FA was not indicted and punished for inadequate security at the venue. Only 3 policemen were at the stadium, contrary to the required number as contained in the NNL Rules and Regulations.

5. The amount of general damages awarded against Remo FC (N400,000:00) is too small and does not reflect the extent of financial losses incurred by Insurance.
Medical bills could not have been presented as the injured players and officials were still on admission in hospital undergoing treatment as at the time of the hearing.

Finally, we will not play any match until we get justice.”

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