Court Fixes Feb 6 For Suit Against Sports Minister, Pinnick

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has set February 6 for the mention of a case filed against the former president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, and the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare.

The Monday hearing on the case had to be cancelled, therefore the parties’ legal counsel agreed on a new date.

The suit is marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1376/2021, Harrison Jalla, Chief Victor Rumson Baribote, Austin Popo and the National Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF) had sued the NFF, Pinnick and the minister as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.

In the motion dated and field on Sept. 2, the claimants sought an interim order restraining the defendants, his agent, employees, staff, officials or electoral committee from organising or conducting any election into any executive office of the NFF pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.

In the affidavit in support of the motion deposed to by Fayenengigha Jacob, a lawyer in the chamber of Ukpong, he said that one of the complaints in the matter was the undemocratic manner in which the NFF was being constituted resulting in depriving the majority of the stakeholders and members of the NFF of having a say or contributing to the development of football in Nigeria.

According to him, the glory of Nigeria football has nosedived as a result of its undemocratic manner of the leadership of the said body.

Jacob said while the matter was still pending in court the defendants had gone ahead to announce and purportedly try to organise and conduct an election of the said body on Sept. 30 in Edo.

He said the substance of the matter would be defeated should the said election slated for September goes ahead without hearing of the pending motions and substantive matter.

NAN reports that after the lawyer to the claimants, Celsus Ukpong, moved the ex-parte motion on Sept. 15, Justice Inyang Ekwo restrained the minister and Mr Pinnick from conducting the NFF executive election scheduled for Sept. 30 in Edo.

Justice Ekwo had ordered them or any person, acting on their instruction, to maintain a status quo pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction, and fixed Oct. 31 for the hearing.

But the NFF filed an appeal against the court order.

In the notice of appeal marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1376/2021 dated Sept. 27 and filed Sept. 28, the NFF (the appellant)’s counsel, Patrick Mekako, prayed the court to set aside its earlier order.

Against this backdrop, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, on Sept 29, vacated the lower court order restraining the conduct of the NFF election scheduled for Sept. 30 in Edo.

The NFF elected Mr. Ibrahim Gusau as its new president after the election was held on September 30 in Benin City, Edo.

Gusau received 39 votes to replace Amaju Pinnick. He is a member of the CAF organizing committee and chairman of the football association chairmen.



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