Thursday, 30 October 2014

Emperor Kiri

Nigeria Escapes FIFA Ban As Court Dismisses Case

Nigeria on Thursday escaped the wrath of FIFA as Justice Ambrose Allagoa of the Federal High court sitting in Jos, Plateau State on Thursday withdrew the suit filed against the Nigeria Football Federation by the Chris Giwa-led board.

FIFA had given Nigeria Thursday to put its football house in order or be banned, which may not be reviewed until the board meeting in May next year.

Messrs. Obinna Ogba and Yahaya Adamu of the Giwa-led faction had dragged the immediate past President of NFF, Alhaji Aminu Maigari and the NFF General Secretary, Musa Amadu, to court seeking for orders to restrain Maigari (first defendant), the NFF (second defendant) and the 36 Football associations (third defendants) from conducting another election after the faction claimed that their principal was the duly elected president of the association

The judge had fixed Thursday for the ruling on whether he has jurisdiction to hear the case following the preliminary objection raised by the NFF defence counsel, Mr. Damon Dashe, who questioned the eligibility of the court to entertain the matter.

Dashe had on Monday filed a counter affidavit to the originating summons, saying that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter since the plaintiffs hearing was delayed because he was not properly served by the counsel for the plaintiff.

He had told the court that it was incumbent on it to hear the preliminary objection, which would guide it on the proper path to follow, adding that the prayers contained in the preliminary objection is for the court to strike it out “because the plaintiffs have submitted themselves to the NFF statutes.”

However at the sitting of the court on Thursday, the judge announced the dismissal of the suit following the withdrawal of the suit by the plaintiffs.

Allagoa said, “The suit is hereby dismissed as the plaintiffs have announced their intention to withdraw the case from the court.”

Counsel for the plaintiffs, Mr. Ardzard Habilla, who spoke to our correspondent after the ruling said his client had to withdraw the case in the interest of Nigerian football and the appeal of well-meaning Nigerians for an end to the crisis in the Glass House.

He said, “My client is well aware of the implication of another FIFA ban on Nigeria and has also listened to the appeals from well meaning Nigerians to withdraw the case from court.”

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