Court Adjourns NANF/NFA Case Again

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Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has again adjourned the contempt suit brought by the National Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF) against the Nigerian Football Association (NFA).

Abang adjourned the case on Tuesday after the counsel to the NANF, Belo Aikhoje, asked for time to respond to the motion by the NFA challenging the re-listing of the case.

Aikhoje had urged the court to disregard the motion by NFA challenging the re-listing of the matter.

He said that it was a motion for committal of NFA officials and should be heard first even if the NANF had not responded to the NFA’s motion challenging the re-listing.

He acknowledged that NANF did not respond to the motion within the stipulated time but said that the process was ongoing at the Registry.

The counsel to NFA, Dr Joseph Nwobike (SAN), had filed a motion challenging the re-listing of the case the NANF discontinued on October 25, 2010.

Nwobike said the court should not hear the counter motion filed by NANF because his motion challenging the re-listing of the suit had not been heard by the court.

Following the arguments, the judge intervened with the order in which the motions would be heard.

Abang ruled that the court would first entertain the motion by the NFA because NANF did not respond to the motion on notice within the stipulated time.

Following the development, Aikhoje asked for an adjournment to enable him prepare a response to the motion challenging the re-listing of the matter.

The counsel to NFA did not oppose the adjournment sought by Aikhoje and both parties agreed on April 5 for the next hearing of the matter.

It will be recalled that NANF went to court on August 2 seeking to stop the NFA elections initially slated for August 21 from holding and secured a court injunction to that effect on August 20 from Abang.

But the NFA disregarded the court order and fixed the elections for August 26.

However, NANF went back to the Federal High Court presided over by Justice Mohammed Idris on August 24 to stop the August 26 elections from holding.

Idris also gave an order stopping the elections from holding but the NFA went ahead in defiance of the injunctions to hold the elections.

On September 6, Abang nullified the August 26 elections and charged the NFA officials with contempt.

It will be recalled that the matter was discontinued on October 25 after FIFA banned the country from all international competitions but was relisted on January 7 by NANF.