The family of late Emmanuel Ibah, a member of the Nigeria Football Federation Executive Committee whose death was announced on Tuesday has vehemently denied that their kinsman died of complications from COVID-19.

The NFF, in an official statement issued on Tuesday; quoting family sources claimed Mr Ibah, who was also the Akwa Ibom State Football Association Chairman until his death, succumbed to complications from coronavirus.

Mr Ibah was also said to have underlying diabetic and hypertensive medical conditions.

However, in a counter-statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday by the deceased’s family and signed by Fidelis Ibah, the NFF was accused of peddling ‘false’ information and a legal suit is being threatened against the Federation.

The statement read in part: “The attention of the family has been drawn to news credited to the NFF that Emmanuel died from COVID-19, which is false and sadistic.

“The family wishes to state that no known member of the family has spoken to the NFF on this subject and is at a loss on the intentions of the football federation in rushing to issue a statement announcing an unproven cause of Emmanuel’s death at a time the result of an autopsy ordered by the family in the Port Harcourt hospital is yet to be out and without getting across to the family. The NFF is not a hospital and their actions amounts to adding salt to an injury.

“We feel that it is either the leadership of NFF in Abuja deliberately sought to attract cheap public attention to itself, not minding the damage to the memory of the deceased, or that they have other ulterior motives unknown to the family.

“Accordingly, as a family, we have instructed our lawyers to seek legal redress in court for this malicious, unfounded, and misleading information.”

While frowning at the miscommunication around the death of the late NFF exco committee member, the Nto Ibah Royal Family has assured details of burial rites would be communicated to the public after a meeting by the extended family.

The family called on the public for prayers and kind thoughts at these difficult and trying moments.


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