Former Super Eagles’ coach Sunday Oliseh has withdrawn a lawsuit he instituted against the Nigeria Football Federation saying he has done so in the interest of the country. Oliseh made this known via a fresh video post on his personal website.
A statement of his Zenith Bank account, through which the NFF paid him while he was on duty, was also published.
He said, “I have instructed my lawyers to withdraw the lawsuit against the Nigeria Football Federation, after speaking with many Nigerians whom I respect a lot.”
Oliseh, however, insisted that he was not paid by the football federation before he resigned. The evidence he presented showed that there was no payment made to him in February.
“I also believe it is useless joining issues with people who are bent on deceiving Nigerians, and misleading Nigerians and diverting attention from the reality. And the reality is that I decided to resign on February 25 because certain vested interest in the NFF put their interest first before the interest of our country.
“If you put Nigeria first, you will always have problems with the NFF. This also explains why the benefits of players and wages and coaches are always placed secondary, while other things like team building trips (for FA chairmen) will always be catered to first,” he said.
Oliseh alleged the federation always prioritised expenditure that had little or no positive effect on the national team while leaving the players and coaches unattended to. He berated the technical committee for allegedly refusing to support him.
He said, “What they found more important to them was trying to influence who plays for Nigeria; who gets invited; who will play. And obviously, I refused because they are not coaches.”
But the NFF has continually disputed Oliseh’s claims that he has not been paid. Soon after the coach resigned, the federation said the ex-Eagles’ coach was paid about N20m shortly before his resignation and that the federation only owed the players and the coaches bonuses for the World Cup qualifier against Swaziland played in Port Harcourt in November 2015. They also acknowledge that they had not cleared the salaries of Oliseh’s assistants.
In a statement shortly after Oliseh’s resignation, the NFF said, “With regard to the allegation that he was not supported, it is pertinent to note that Mr. Oliseh himself had on numerous occasions expressed gratitude for the support he had received from the NFF and in particular from the NFF President and the Vice Presidents.”
They also explained that the new financial regime of Treasury Single Account in the country had contributed to the delay in settling the coach’s wages.
“Our sponsor could not pay him directly as the new law requires that the money be moved first to the federation’s account before we can apply for his salary and bureaucracy delays getting the money back. We don’t have full control,” an NFF official said.
The documents the NFF released on Tuesday indicate that a mandate was given to their bankers to pay the coach on February 23 but the actual payment date was made on February 26. They insist Oliseh received the cash and should instead be honourable to refund the salary for the month of February in lieu of notice while the former coach insists he has yet to receive it.
About a fortnight ago the NFF members said they wanted to concentrate on the game against Egypt; the same reason the meeting with the House of Representatives sports committee members was postponed.