NFF Elections: Kebbi FA Chairman, Sports lawyer, fault court order

Abubakar Chika-Ladan, Chairman
, Kebbi  Football Association has faulted the order of a Federal High Court in Abuja tor restrainedthe Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) from holding its elective congress.

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, restrained the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, and President, NFF President, Amaju Pinnick from conducting the NFF executive election scheduled for Sept. 30 in Benin,Edo.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a ruling on an ex-parte motion  by counsel for the claimants, Celsus Ukpong, ordered the the minister, Pinnick or any person, acting on their instruction, to maintain a status quo.

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) later on Thursday, Chika-Ladan said that the indefinite postponement of the NFF Elections was uncalled for as the tenure of the current board was almost over.

He noted that the action taken by the court was tantamount to a third party interference, adding that FIFA does not accept such decision by the court and would react accordingly.

“It is unfortunate that some people are putting their personal interests above national interest.

“The amendment of the NFF Statutes is not a one day affair and thus does not warrant the postponement of the elections.

“This is because the tenure of the current Board will expire and there will be no room for any arrangement after that.

“The court action therefore amounts to third party interference, as per FIFA Statutes and we should await the consequences,” he said.

Uyi Olubor, a Sports lawyer said that the cause of dispute by the claimants in the case, lacked merit and thus should be struck out immediately.

“If the cause of dispute as stated above is what the claimants are disputing then  that throws a lot of questions as to the merit of the matter.

“In my humble opinion, It’s the job of the court to enforce the Constitution of an organisation. However, it is not the duty of the court to amend the Constitution of an organisation.

“As for the issue of maintaining  the ‘res’ during the pendency of an action, I can’t oppose the injunction. Because that is the right thing to do,” he said.

Olubor said it was the duty of the Senate and House Committee on Sports to come up with  laws which would insulate the football body from such actions taken by the court.

“I think the way forward is for the Nigerian legislature to put in place a regulatory framework for our sports that would insulate us from the Nigerian circumstances.

“You would take a matter to court. The court would treat it  like ever other matter. Which is invariably bad for the development of our sports.

“Sports and football in particular do not need the type of delay and interruptions you find in other disputes.

“In my opinion sports disputes should be as “sui generis” (of it’s own kind). It should have its own laws, it’s own court, and it’s own procedure of enforcement,” he said.

Also, Adama Idris, a former Director of marketing and sponsorship at the NFF, said the case before the court was a matter of technicality and may not hold sway.

“If they are sued as NFF, it may not hold sway because NFF is not a body recorgnised by the laws of this country.

“Also, if they are sued as Nigeria Football Association (NFA), NFA does not have an existing executive committee getting ready for elections.

“So, it is a matter of technicality,” he said. (NAN) 

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