HFN Crisis: Elite Players Join Suit

The crisis rocking the Handball Federation of Nigeria took a new turn today as current and former elite players of the game in Nigeria filed a motion this morning seeking to join the suit filed at the Federal High Court Abuja by the Mega veterans Handball Limited challenging the election into the Board of the Federation.

On the face of the motion all the Parties Seeking to be Joined in the suit are variously Handball Players playing for clubs in Nigeria and all over the world; former National League Players, Former National Team Players, Team Managers, Former Team managers, Coaches, Former Coaches and persons that have high stakes in the game of Handball in Nigeria.

In a swift reaction, the National Coordinator of Mega Handball Veterans Mr. Nicholas Nwani, the stakeholder group that filed the suit said he is not surprised at the development but would have rather been surprised if other prominent and key players of the game would have stayed aloof while this suit is going on because the means of livelihood of Handball stakeholders,

particularly the current and former national players have been seriously threatened in recent years by the lack of activity in the game.

The former National Team player said that every present and former player of the game should be concerned with what is happening because within the four years the Board has not organized any competition which has resulted in some clubs like the Owena Kings (male) and Owena Queens (female) both of Ondo State folding up with over forty players losing their jobs.

Counsel to the parties, Mr. Terence Vembe in a telephone interview confirmed that he filed the motion but however declined to answer further questions from the reporter saying that it will not be proper since the matter is before court of a competent jurisdiction.

However, our reporter was able to sight a copy of the motion where Mr. Vembe, a former elite player of the foremost Benue Buffaloes Handball Club, Makurdi relying on Supreme Court decisions argued in his Written Address in support of the motion that:

“It is settled law that the law allows a person interested in proceedings to be joined either as plaintiff or defendant depending on his interest. All that an applicant need to show is that he has sufficient interest in the action and the test for sufficient interest is whether the party seeking to join the proceedings could have either sued or been sued in the first place”.

He concluded that it is in the interest of justice to grant the application as by so doing the Honourable Court will be avoiding multiplicity of actions as the Applicants who have demonstrated sufficient interest in the suit may be compelled to file their individual suits concerning the same subject matter thereby heightening the possibility of two courts of

co-ordinate jurisdiction, giving different and conflicting decisions in two cases that are substantially the same.


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