Read the statement from Pinnick’s lawyer, Festus Keyamo below…
We are solicitors to the Nigerian Football Federation led by Amaju Pinnick. We are also solicitors to the Defendants in Suit No. FHC/J/CS/77/2016: Between Yahaya Adama & Anor. V. Maigari & Ors. Our attention has been drawn to several media reports to the effect that the Federal High Court sitting in Jos sacked the Board of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) led by Mr. Amaju Pinnick and installed Mr. Chris Giwa as the new Chairman of the NFF.
This is nothing but total and complete falsehood. We are constrained to issue this statement to set the records straight owing to the sensitive nature of football administration in Nigeria.
For the purpose of clarity, at no time did the Honourable Court order the installation of one Chris Giwa as Chairman of the NFF as neither Chris Giwa nor Amaju Pinnick are parties to the present suit in JOS. It is therefore a distortion of the Order of the Honourable Court to assume that Chris Giwa was ordered to resume as the Chairman of the NFF. The Supreme Court of Nigeria has held times without number that no court of law can issue an Order against a person that is not a party in a suit before a court without joining or hearing from that party. And no court of law can also install a party in an office who is not before the Court praying for such an Order. The said Chris Giwa is not a party before the case at the Federal High Court and the Court NEVER made an Order installing him as NFF President. It is like the bizarre case of the proxies of a loser in an election suing only INEC without joining the other victorious party in the case. How can a Court of Law or Tribunal remove the victorious Party from office without joining him or even making a positive Order to that effect? It is simply a legal impossibility. What the so-called Chris Giwa is attempting to do is nothing but sheer brigandage and we shall be writing to all authorities concerned to arrest and prosecute him he dares to take the laws into his hands. The Minister of Sports is also advised not to aid this sheer madness. Whoever wants to remove Amaju Pinnick and members of the NFF board from office must approach the court to join them as parties and must seek clear and positive Orders against each and everyone of them. The public and all football lovers must ignore this storm in a tea cup. There is simply NO COURT ORDER removing anybody from office.
To set the records straight, sometime in 2014, one Yahaya Adama and Obinna Ogba commenced an action against Alhaji Aminu Maigari and three others challenging the convening of the Ordinary General Assembly and the subsequent election conducted into the various offices of the NFF on 30th of September, 2014. In the course of the proceedings, the Court made three different Orders as follows:
1. The Court first issued an Order dated 19th day of September, 2014, restraining the Defendants from proceeding with the Congress
2. The Court later issued an Order dated 23rd day of October, 2014 nullifying or setting aside the purported election conducted into the Executive Committee/Board of the NFF
3. Finally, the Court made an Order dated 30th day of October, 2014, setting aside all the previous Orders made above.
Please, find attached a Certified True Copy of the last Order made.
The last Order was made just before the case was withdrawn and struck out on the 30th October, 2014.
However, in December, 2015, Messrs Yahaya Adama and Obinna Ogba again applied to the Federal High Court for a relisting of the Suit and the restoration of
“……. all Orders made by this Honourable Court in suit no. FHC/L/CS/77/2014 before this suit was struck out by this Honourable Court on 30th October, 2014.”
Gentlemen, it is the exact prayer as stated above that the Court granted on Friday, April 8, 2016. What this clearly means is that the court also restored its final Order made on the 30th of October, 2014, as stated above before the case was struck out, that set aside all the previous Orders made, especially the one nullifying the NFF election held in Warri on 30th September, 2014. In fact, the court could not have granted the Plaintiffs a final Order at an interlocutory stage. Anyone who feels otherwise should go back to Court.
In any event, we are dissatisfied with the re-listing of the case and a Motion or an application urging the Court to set aside its Ruling has been filed and is pending before the Court. The Defendants have also lodged an appeal against the Ruling of the Court and have also filed an application for stay of further proceedings pending the determination of the Appeal. It is expected that as law abiding citizens, no steps would be taken by any party to frustrate the judicial process.
FESTUS KEYAMO, ESQ.