A federal high court sitting in Jos, Plateau state capital, on Friday failed to vacate the ex-parte granted Chris Giwa, one of the parties in the leadership crisis that has engulfed the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
The court had granted the order on June 5, 2018, which gave Giwa the impetus to pose as the president of the NFF.
Following that order, Giwa moved into the NFF headquarters last month, a development that did not go down well with Giwa’s rival, Amaju Pinnick, who rushed to the court with three motions on notice asking the court to vacate the order.
When the case came up for hearing on Friday, Festus Ukpe, counsel to Pinnick, told the court that he had filed three motions on notice and was seeking the leave of court to move them.
He said the motions sought to ask the court to vacate the ex-parte order earlier granted Giwa on June 5, 2018 so that Nigeria could escape a ban from football activities as threatened by FIFA.
Habila Ardzard, Giwa’s counsel, raised an objection to Pinnick’s motions, and notified the court of a pending appeal he filed before the Jos court of appeal in respect of the case.
He explained that the appeal was challenging the ruling of Musa Kurya, the judge, which allowed Pinnick to serve Giwa a photocopy of the said motions on notice, instead of original copies.
Ardzard argued that any attempt by the judge to hear any of Pinnick’s motions would amount to “abuse of court processes” and “judicial rascality”.
“My Lord, this honourable court has been informed of the said appeal before the Jos court of appeal, and by that, this court lacks the jurisdiction to continue with this matter pending the determination of the appeal,” he said.
“This is the position of the supreme court and that of the Appellate court; if the lower court will do otherwise, it will only be setting itself on collision course with the apex and appellate courts.
“We hereby urge your lordship to adjourn the case pending the determination of the appeal by the appellate court,” he argued.
Kurya, in his ruling, said there were two posers – whether there was an appeal, and whether he could continue with the matter.
In answering the two posers, the judge declared that he had resolved the two in favour of Giwa, and therefore decided to adjourn the case indefinitely.
“Since there is an appeal before the appellate court, I don’t want to be involved in any judicial rascally, therefore I hereby adjourn the case indefinitely,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the latest attempt is the third by Pinnick to convince the court to vacate the Ex-parte order it granted Giwa.
The court’s position had created anxiety in soccer circles following the threat by FIFA to ban Nigeria if the NFF leadership crisis is not resolved.
FIFA had given Nigeria up to Monday, August 20, 2018 to resolve the NFF leadership crisis between Chris Giwa and Amaju Pinnick or face ban on all football affairs.