By Nformi Sonde Kinsai, Etienne Mainimo Mengnjo & Atabongefac Jovani Leke
Abdouraman Hamadou Babba, Cameroon-based football activist, has said he would be seizing the Swiss Federal Court over the verdict of the Court of Arbitration for Sports, CAS, validating the election of Samuel Eto’o Fils as President of the Cameroon Football Federation, FECAFOOT.
Abdouraman Babba remarked on August 23 shortly after CAS validated the disputed election of Samuel Eto’o. On his Facebook page, Abdouraman said the verdict from CAS is in violation of its Code, two sentences of agreement in the cases of CAS 8338 and CAS 8456.
“As I already announced in my publication dated August 8, 2022, the Swiss Federal Court will be seized next week. So it isn’t over yet. Time will tell,” Abdouraman Babba wrote on his Facebook page.
In another subsequent Facebook submission, Abdouraman, after announcing to appeal the case before competent courts, said some people have been insulting and threatening him.
“To those, I can assure them that these insults and threats will not change our determination to finish this deal. What are they afraid of? Those thinking that CAS said the right thing can and should therefore in principle sleep soundly,” he added.
According to him, it is obvious that all cannot have the same concept of the republic.
“As to me, first and foremost, are the institutions and the laws. No man should be above Cameroon, its institution and laws. Rest assured, when the Swiss Federal Court says CAS acted based on the law, everything will be over. Remember that I am priceless.” He stated.
CAS on August 23, in a verdict, stated that the process of electing Samuel Eto’o as the President of FECAFOOT was perfectly done. CAS also ratified the March 31, 2022 by Samuel Eto’o and a faction of the 2009 General Assembly.
Consequently, CAS said, the arbitration procedure of CAS 2021/8338 opposing FECAFOOT to the National Olympic and Sport Committee of Cameroon and Henri Claude Balla Ongolo and others “is completed and removed from CAS docket.”
Meanwhile on August 8, Abdouraman Babba, on his Facebook page said, the dispute concerning the statutes and electoral code of FECAFOOT were initiated before CAS in July 2013. According to him, more than 20 proceedings have been initiated before CAS and four before the Swiss Federal Court since 2013.
He said, all the procedures had and still are aimed at returning FECAFOOT to statutory order, compliance with FECAFOOT texts and the law as well as the organisation of a fair, free and transparent electoral process.
The two proceedings (which CAS has just given the verdict) were initiated in September 2021 (CAS 8338) and November 2021 (CAS 8456) respectively well before the arrival of Samuel Eto’o at FECAFOOT.
He said procedure CAS 8338 was initiated on September 25, 2021 by Seidou Mbombo Njoya to annul CCA’s June 10, 2021 sentence which said it is FECAFOOT General Assembly members elected in 2009 who return to office after the annulment of the 2018 electoral process chaired by the Normalisation Committee headed then by Barrister Dieudonne Happi.
Procedure CAS 8456, going by Abdouraman Babba, was initiated on November 9, 2021 by 44 (out of 73) members of the FECAFOOT General Assembly elected in 2009 , to ask CAS on the one hand, to cancel the FECAFOOT statutes adopted on July 13, 2021 in contempt of CCA complaint dated June 10, 2021 and letters from the Minister of Sports and Physical Education dated July 8 and 12, 2021 and, on the other hand, to declare null and void the electoral process organised in accordance with these statutes.
Following negotiations undertaken by Samuel Eto’o, 28 of the 44 members of FECAFOOT General Assembly elected in 2009 who seized CAS on November 9, 2021 withdrew their complaints while the other 16 members maintained theirs.
“…Recognising the validity of the last electoral process that ended on December 11, 2021 would be like a double standard while this process is tainted with the same irregularities, if not worse as those organised in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2018,” Abdouraman said.
However, disputes in FECAFOOT are now an old aged problem which has seen two normalisation committees head the Football Association in the past 12 years.