The Court of Appeal in Jos, Plateau State has dismissed the judgment of the Federal High Court Jos, which pronounced Mr. Chris Giwa as the authentic President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
In a judgement delivered by the Judge, Hon Justice Joseph Tur at the Appeal Court, Jos on Monday, said the ruling of the federal High Court Jos on April 8 returning Chris Giwa to the Glass house was null and void.
Tur said that the case had been discontinued and that in the eyes of the law the case remained discontinued and that the plaintiffs were wrong in asking that the case be relisted.
The High Court Jos had in a ruling on Oct. 23, 2014, granted the request of Giwa nullifying the result of the Warri General Assembly and the subsequent elective congress that brought in the current NFF board led by Amaju Pinnick into office.
However, then President Goodluck Jonathan faced with an imminent threat of a FIFA ban had intervened, which led to the Chris Giwa-led faction of the NFF withdrawing the case.
But Messrs. Adama Yahaya and Obinna Ogba, acting on behalf of the Giwa-led faction had again approached the court on March 10, 2016 asking it to re-list the matter which they had earlier withdrawn, after the former president’s intervention claiming that most of the issues that led to the court case had not been resolved.
On April 8, Justice Musa Kurya, who heard the relisted case, ordered the recognition of Chris Giwa as the President of the NFF. He also barred anybody from interfering with the duties and functions of the NFF board under the leadership of Giwa.It was the ruling that the Pinnick-led board appealed.
Justice Joseph Tur in his judgment said: “In ruling that Giwa be recognised as the president of NFF, the court should have taken into consideration the circumstances of the case giving that it struck out and discontinued by the same court on October 30, 2014.
The presiding justice also faulted the submissions of the counsel to the respondents, Mr. Habila Azard, in which the decision of the court was made based on the undertaking that was taken prior to the judgement of October 30 and stated the process of re-listing was not followed.
The appeal court further faulted the ruling of the Federal High Court made on April 8, 2016 and said it should have considered the circumstances of the case given that it struck out and discontinued by the same court on the October, 30 2014
Tur, while allowing the appeal of the NFF, set aside the ruling of the Federal High Court made on April 8, 2016 and reinstated the ruling made on October 30, 2014.He awarded N50,000 cost against the two parties.