By Olawale Ayeni, Abuja
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, yesterday, struck out a suit against the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) factions from organising the Men’s Premier Basketball League.
The suit was filed by the management boards of Kwese Premier League and two clubs, Gombe Bulls Basketball Club and Kwara Falcons Basketball Club.
The suit filed in 2018 by the plaintiffs asking the court to restrain the defendants, their agents or servants whosoever, from interfering in the Kwese Premier Basketball League or organising any fresh Premier Basketball League for the purposes of selecting the men basketball club representatives to African Continental Club Championship pending the determination of the substantive suit was dismissed on the grounds of technicalities.
The court held that the case was not properly filed since the defendants joined in the suit were not entities who derive legal recognition.
Breaking down the court proceeding, Barrister Emmanuel Okibe who represented the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, said in his preliminary objection, he argued that Nigeria Basketball Federation divided into Musa Kida or Tijjani Umar factions, the plaintiffs wanted the court to believe were not a juristic persons and unknown to law.
Although, the court agreed with the plaintiff’s counsel, Barrister Emmanuel Enejoh, who represented the League Management Board and others that some bodies even though not registered by law are recognised as juristic persons but ruled that the appellants did not sue the NBBF as a body which could be regarded as a known entity but chose to sue Nigeria Basketball Federation, Kida Faction and Nigeria Basketball Federation, TJ Umar faction which were unknown to law.
Barrister Okibe: “We argued that originating summon was not the proper mode of commencing this type of suit. Such summons are usually filed when the court is just meant to interpret a document where there is no dispute of facts which the court also agreed.”
According to the court, in a case where there were no proper plaintiffs or defendants, the court lacked jurisdiction to decide the matter as the case was struck out totally.