You must have heard that Coach Imama title winning coach of Enugu Rangers was arrested a few days ago. By who? The people he ended their 32 year old wait for a trophy. I can’t even begin to tell how that sickens me. Someone asked on social media; Is this how your country honors her heroes? Don’t answer, just ponder over that.
In the meantime, here is what really transpired. Credits to Colin Udoh for this piece.
So here is what happened between Imama and Rangers.
After he was fired, Imama wrote to the LMC alleging wrongful termination of contract. Both parties were invited by the LMC to state their cases. Imama appeared for himself. Rangers Secretary Joseph Onwukwe represented the club.
I will come to that story fully later.
In the meantime, Imama had handed over the keys to his apartment to the estate security, but kept hold of the car pending the conclusion of the dispute resolution, according to him, until he gets his money.
In my opinion, was wrong on both fronts.
Although Imama has a right by law to hold as lien any property for money being owed him, he should he should have surrendered the car when he took the case to arbitration. If you trust the system to right your injury, then you must go to equity with clean hands.
On the apartment, he did not follow procedure in having an inventory done before handing over the keys to the estate security. What if the security took advantage to get into the property and remove items there?
Or what if some mischievous Rangers official decides to collude with the security and go in there to remove items/wreck the apartment before an official handover?
Rangers claimed they wrote to Imama 5 times to ask him to return the property. He ignored them.
Imama did not deny it.
Irrespective of that, Rangers were also wrong to have had him arrested and kept overnight in a cell. That is grounds for legal action.
Like Imama, they should have waited for the decision of the dispute resolution.
PART 2: ARBITRATION AND DECISION
Imama claimed that he was wrongfully terminated by Rangers and should be paid compensation for the remainder of the contract period as stipulated by the contract.
Rangers, on their part, argued that the coach was properly terminated because he was provided an enabling environment to work and was therefore not entitled to compensation for the termination of the contract.
According to Rangers, Amapakabo breached Clause 7 of his contract by ‘failing to perform’.
And this is where it gets interesting.
7.6 states: the proprietor shall terminate the contract of the coach on grounds of misconduct or failure to perform but must have to provide the coach with materials thus shall enable him to perform.”
Remember Rangers claimed that Imama was fired for ‘failure to perform’,so we go up to Clause 1.10 of the contract to find the definition of Failure to Perform
Clause 1.10 defines ‘failure to perform’ on the part of the coach as
“Inability…to impart football knowledge on the players or several defeats of the team due to his own fault”
On the part of management, ‘failure to perform’ is defined as
“Failure of management to provide adequate motivation including payment of allowances and salaries when due, provision of logistics, etc”
I am no lawyer but I will refrain from commenting on the ambiguous, open-ended wording of many parts of this contract.
Imama argued that the several defeats were due to the club’s ‘failure to perform’ by not paying players’ wages on time, limited registration of players leading to injuries (viz not providing him with materials needed to perform) leading to a squad decimated by injuries.
In their response, AND THIS IS HILARIOUS, Rangers via a letter written by THEIR LAWYERS, claimed that ‘it is not the only club that owe her players in Nigeria’!
Just read that again and let it sink in. This, my friends, is where my jaw dropped all the way to the floor. It is still there.
To cut a long story short, on that basis, Rangers were found to have wrongly terminated Imama’s contract.
The coach was awarded his two months outstanding salaries, his N600K in outstanding bonuses and allowances, and his $940 in international traveling allowances.
For the compensation, Art 7.8 is clear
“In case of flagrant misconduct on the part of the management, the Head Coach shall be entitled to his full payment of the contract sum for the period aforesaid.”
So that means Rangers are in hock to Imama for the sum of N38 million if Chukwu’s statement that his salary was N2 million a month.
However, both parties were asked to go and come to an amicable settlement on compensation.
Rather than go for the settlement, Rangers had Imama arrested.
That’s the Koko.
Shame on you Rangers. May everyone of your responsible for this show of shame reap a thousand fold reward of your seed. It’s no curse- it’s only reiterating the laws of nature. Seed time and Harvest shall never cease. The LMC has made a decision on the case. It’s on their website. Once more a big shame to Rangers.
Back tomorrow with Enyimba related info.