Appeal Court throws out Giwa’s suit against NFF
The Court of Appeal sitting in Jos has dismissed the judgment of the Federal High Court, which relisted the case filed by Mr. Chris Giwa against the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and its president, Mr. Amaju Pinnick.
The Federal High Court had in a ruling on October 23, 2014, granted the request of Giwa to nullify the result of the Warri General Assembly and the subsequent elective congress that brought in the current NFF board, led by Pinnick into office.
However, then President Goodluck Jonathan faced with an imminent threat of FIFA ban had intervened, which led to the Chris Giwa-led faction of the NFF withdrawing the case.
But Messrs. Adama Yahaya and Obinna Ogba, acting on behalf of the Giwa-led faction, had again approached the court on March 10, 2016 asking it to re-list the matter, which they had earlier withdrawn, claiming that most of the issues that led to the court case had not been resolved.
On April 8, Justice Musa Kurya, who heard the relisted case, ordered the recognition of Chris Giwa as the President of the NFF. He also barred anybody from interfering with the duties and functions of the NFF board under the leadership of Giwa.
It was the ruling that the Pinnick-led board appealed.
Justice Joseph Tur, in his judgment on Monday held that the discontinuation of the case on October 30, 2014, which was affirmed by the court, stands, adding that the ruling of the court on April 8 returning Giwa to the Glass House was null and void.
Tur said the case had been discontinued in the eyes of the law and that the plaintiffs were wrong in asking that the case be relisted.
He said that in ruling that Giwa be recognized as the president of NFF, the court should have taken into consideration the circumstances of the case, giving that it was struck out and discontinued by the same court on October 30, 2014.
The presiding justice also faulted the submissions of the counsel to the respondents, Mr. Habila Azard, in which the decision of the court was made based on the undertaking that was taken prior to the judgment of October 30 and stated the process of relisting was not followed
The Appeal Court further faulted the ruling of the Federal High Court made on April 8, 2016 and said it should have considered the circumstances of the case giving that it was struck out and discontinued by the same court on the October, 30 2014.
Tur while allowing the appeal of the NFF, set aside the ruling of the Federal High Court made on April 8, 2016 and reinstated the ruling made on October 30, 2014. He awarded N500,000 cost against the two parties.
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