Legal luminary, Festus Keyamo has debunked media reports on a subsisting Supreme Court Order restraining Amaju Pinnick from acting as president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Speaking through a press statement, Keyamo who is the lawyer to Amaju Pinnick-led board of NFF said the media reports were fuelled by an earlier press release by the office of the Hon. Minister for Sports dated July 2, 2018 as well as another press release from the same office dated August 21, 2018, regarding the current suit which portrays the Pinnick-led NFF leadership as irresponsible, as usurpers and as contemnors.
He insisted that there is no Supreme Court order or any other subsisting order restraining his client from acting as president of the NFF or installing Chris Giwa as president of the NFF and challenges anybody with a contrary opinion to publish the Supreme Court Judgment or Order where his client or Chris Giwa were ever mentioned in any portion of the judgment or as even parties to the case.
“We have read some reports in the mainstream and online media by some uninformed and/or deliberately mischievous persons to the effect that there is a subsisting Supreme Court Order restraining Amaju Pinnick from acting as President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
“There is no Supreme Court order or any other subsisting order restraining Amaju Pinnick from acting as president of the NFF or installing Chris Giwa as president of the NFF. We hereby challenge anybody who disputes this to publish the Supreme Court Judgment or Order where the names of Amaju Pinnick or Chris Giwa were ever mentioned in any portion of the judgment or as even parties to the case.
The fact is that the court processes filed in the Supreme Court matter do not bear their names as parties to the suit whatsoever.
“What the Supreme Court did was to relist the case, remit it back to the Federal High Court for expeditious determination on its Merits, while firmly declining the Motion brought by the plaintiffs in the matter to invoke its general powers under section 22 of the Supreme Court Act to deal with the substantive suit.
However, in delivering judgment, the CJN expressed the view that by restoring the suit to the Cause List it followed that ALL previous orders made in the proceedings in the suit are also restored, irrespective of the fact that the matter may be heard de novo (afresh) before another judge.
What is important to note is that, as at the time the CJN made the pronouncement, there were five ‘previous’ orders existing at the Federal High Court, viz: The Order dated 19th day of September, 2014, restraining the defendants from proceeding with the congress.
The Order dated 23rd day of October, 2014 nullifying or setting aside the elections conducted into the Executive Committee/Board of the NFF. 3. The Order dated 30th day of October, 2014, setting aside all the previous Orders made above.
The order dated 8th day of April, 2016, relisting the case and restoring all orders made by the court when the case was withdrawn on 30th day of October, 2014.
The order dated 14th day of April, 2016 giving leave for NFF to appeal the order made on 8th day of April, 2016 and affirming unequivocally that the orders restored when relisting the case by the court order of 8th day of April 2016 were the orders made by the court when the case was withdrawn on 30th of October 2014 which stated that, “order 50 Rule 2 of the Federal High Court Rules 2009’’ the Plaintiff having withdrawn the suit, all orders made previously including the dissolution of the Executive Committee,Board of Nigeria Football Federation vide order of this honourable court dated 23rd October, 2014 seizes to have life and this matter stands struck out.”
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