Appeal Court to hear motion filed by PFAN against NFF, others Feb 28

By Edith Nwapi

The Appeal court on Wednesday fixed Feb.28 to hear a motion filed by the Professional Football Association of Nigeria (PFAN)
and three others on the issue of jurisdiction.

The appellate court had in September 2022 vacated an order of a lower court barring the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) from conducting its election.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that, in the motion marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1376/2021, Harrison Jalla, Chief Victor Rumson Baribote, Austin Popo and National Association of Nigerian Footballers had sued the Nigeria Football Federation, Pinnick, and the minister as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.

In the motion dated and filed on Sept. 2, 2022,  the claimants sought an interim order restraining the defendants, agents, employees, staff, officials or electoral committee from organising or conducting any election into any executive office of the NFF pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.

The interim order followed a suit that was lodged before the Federal High Court Abuja by the PFAN .

The plaintiff had, among other things, prayed the court to direct the NFF and Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to halt further action on the elective congress of Nigeria’s football body, pending the determination of its case before the court.

PFAN had gone to court to ask for an amendment of the 2010 NFF Statutes, which led to Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on September 15 stopping the NFF elections slated for Benin City.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, ruling on an ex-parte motion, ordered the Youth and Sports Development Minister and the NFF President, or any person acting on their instruction, to maintain the status quo.

The players union was advocating for equal representation for all the five statutory bodies that make up the NFF as it relates to voting rights and representation on the NFF board.

A three-member panel led by Justice Hamma Barka, fixed Feb.28 after
Chief Rumson Baribote who appeared for the respondents prayed for an adjournment .

Baribote told the court that he was appearing for himself and other respondents, but the court told him it was not possible, that he can only appear for himself.

The plaintiffs had earlier asked the court to hear their application for extension of time to regularise their motion. (NAN)