Friday, July 11, 2014 8:43 pm
The nationwide strike embarked upon by Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has stalled the hearing of the case restraining the Aminu Maigari-led Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) from presiding over the nation’s football affairs.
A Jos High Court, presided over by Justice Philomena Lot, on July 3, had given an injunction restraining the Maigari-led NFF from leading the football body, pending the hearing of substantive suit against the body.
Mrs Ebiakpo Baribote, proprietor of Nembe City FC, a premier league side, had prayed the court to restrain Maigari and other NFF members from presiding over football affairs, after accusing them of unwholesome practices.Specifically, Baribote accused the Maigari-led NFF of “financial secrecy and manipulation of NFF statutes to suit their selfish interests’’.
Baribote asked the court to restrain Maigari from further controlling and managing the affairs of all football matters in Nigeria pending the hearing of the motion on notice for the interlocutory injunction filed before the court.
Justice Lot had fixed July 11 for hearing on the substantive suit.
However, a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who was at the court to cover the hearing, reports that the court could not sit because of the strike.
NAN learnt that Maigari and some members of his executive council were in Jos to personally attend the hearing but were disappointed as the strike stalled the hearing.
NAN also reports that the Justice Lot’s order had prompted the Minister of Sport, Tammy Danagogo, to direct Mr Lawrence Katken to act as Sole Administrator/General Secretary of NFF to avoid a vacuum.
During an extraordinary meeting of the congress of NFF held on Saturday July 5, in Abuja, NFF congress members, comprising club proprietors and other stakeholders, had endorsed the suspension.
The congress further endorsed the appointment of Katken as Acting Secretary-General of the NFF.
The development had caused the world soccer governing body, FIFA, to ban Nigeria from participating in international competitions.
The world soccer body gave Nigeria up till Monday, July 14, to resolve the issues or face stiffer penalties. (NAN)