Nigeria Football Controversy: Pinnick returns to court

FIFA recognised chairman of Nigeria Football Federation, Mr Amaju Pinnick, has asked a court to vacate its order that sacked him from office.

Following his request, Jos Federal High Court on Wednesday fixed July 10 for hearing the motions filed by Pinnick, challenging the exparte order it granted Mr Chris Giwa, who has assumed office as president of the federation.

Pinnick approached the court for the relief after federal government implemented the order of the high court.

Mr Musa Kurya, presiding judge in the case between Yahaya Adama and Aminu Maigari had, on June 5, made an exparte order asking Pinnick’s NFF leadership to vacate the Glass House for the Giwa-led executive.

Based on the order, the sports minister, Solomon Dalung, said he had been advised by justice ministry to ensure NFF complies with the order.

Mr Dalung ordered Pinnick and his executives to obey the court order and vacate NFF secretariat for Giwa and his team to assume duties.

But Pinnick, through his counsel, Mr Festus Keyamo, stormed the court on Wednesday with two motions demanding the vacation of the order granted Giwa and others, pending the determination of an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case.

Though the case was heard in the chamber, the two counsel in the matter spoke to journalists shortly after.

Mr Festus Ukpe, who stood in for Keyamo, explained: “We came to court to challenge the order which the court gave to Giwa led Exco.

“Our aim or intention was to move our two motions, but the counsel to Adama and Ogba, Mr Habila Ardzard, opposed it on the ground that they only got possession of the motions today (Wednesday).

“We told the judge that there was need for the court to hear these motions because of our fear of what Giwa will do in these few days that he claims he has power over Glass House.

“That is why we argued that there was the need for the judge to vacate his order since we were not given fair hearing in the matter, which we are not a party to but for our interest.’’

Ukpe said that after both sides made their submissions, the judge ruled and fixed July 10 for the hearing of the motions because of the urgency.

Also, Ardzard said he had to oppose Pinnick from moving the motions “because by law, we are entitled to seven days within which we could study the motion and reply from the date of its receipt.

“We were only asked to come to court today and when we came we were told that there were two motions which Pinnick’s counsel intended to move today (Wednesday).

“Of course, we had to oppose it and the court finally ruled in our favour and therefore, fixed July 10 for the hearing of the motions’’.

Nonetheless, the order granted Mr Giwa subsists until Tuesday, July 10 when the motions would be heard on their merit.

Keyamo has repeatedly argued that Nigeria risks a FIFA ban if the world body interprets the sports ministry’s action as interfering in football matters.

FIFA has repeatedly warned countries not to interfere in football matters.

Giwa, however, says there is no chance of FIFA sanctioning Nigeria.

PT

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