Jos High Court Suspends NPFL

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Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

The Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) has been suspended indefinitely until the League Management Company (LMC) fully complies with the earlier order of reinstating Giwa FC to the league.

Justice I. Kunda in his ruling delivered at the Plateau State High Court which sat in Bukuru, near Jos yesterday decried the delay tactics being employed by the counsel to the LMC, Olumide Olujimi to delay the case knowing well that the Nigerian league is time-bound, and the league would have effectively ended before the case is determined.
The judge declared the case adjourned sine die but also told the defendants that they can proceed with their appeal at the Appeal Court if they so wish.
But in a swift move yesterday, the LMC said in a statement that it was yet to be served the ruling suspending the premier league.

It statement read: “The League Management Company (LMC) has been inundated with sundry calls and enquirers regarding a piece of news being circulated that Plateau State High Court, Jos has made an order stopping Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) until the reinstatement of Giwa FC to the League.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, LMC states categorically, that it has not been served with any such order and is consequently unable to comment on this matter.

“If such an order is at any time in the future produced or served on it by due process of law, LMC wishes all our clubs, footballers, fans, partners and all Nigerians to be reassured that it shall take all steps appropriate in the circumstances to protect the integrity of the NPFL,” observed the statement from the LMC last night.
Accordingly, the LMC states that the operation of NPFL proceeds apace as scheduled and unhindered in any manner whatsoever.

At the resumed sitting on Monday in a case filed by one Mustapha Abubakar seeking to reinstate Giwa FC into the NPFL and also reschedule all the games the club was excluded from playing following its expulsion in May, the only issue argued by counsels on both sides was whether the judge can continue to hear the matter in view of the appeal filed by LMC against the earlier interim order of the Judge made on 12th August, 2016.

When the case came up, the LMC’s Counsel, Olumide Olujinmi, informed the court that the league body had filed an appeal against the interim order and applied to the court to adjourn the matter sine die pending the outcome of the hearing of the appeal by the Court of Appeal in accordance with decided cases and legal authorities.
He referred the court to the affidavit of pending appeal filed by LMC to this effect.

But the application was opposed by the counsel for Abubakar, H.S. Adzard, who though admitted to having been served with the affidavit of pending appeal.

Adzard had argued that there is no pending appeal since the records of proceeding has not been transmitted to the Court of Appeal within 60 days as required by rules.
He also contended that the Affidavit of Pending Appeal was incompetent and urged the court to go on with the case.