Chris Giwa, factional President, Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, has faulted a statement credited to a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Festus Keyamo, on the body’s leadership crisis.
Mr Habilla Ardzard, Giwa’s lawyer in a statement issued on Tuesday, lamented that Keyamo misinformed Nigerians on the NFF leadership tussle.
Keyamo, lead counsel for Amaju Pinnick, in a statement on August 26, alleged that there was no court order preventing his client from acting as the NFF President.
According to Keyamo, “There is no Supreme Court order or any other subsisting order restraining Amaju Pinnick from acting as President of the NFF or installing Chris Giwa as president of the NFF.
“We hereby challenge anybody who disputes this to publish the Supreme Court judgment or order where the names of Amaju Pinnick or Chris Giwa were ever mentioned in any portion of the judgment or as even parties to the case.
“The fact is that the court processes filed in the Supreme Court matter do not bear their names as parties to the suit whatsoever”.
Reacting, Ardzard said Keyamo’s position was “designed to mislead and hoodwink unsuspecting Nigerians into according unmerited credibility to the Amaju Pinnick-led illegal board of the NFF.
“We wish to clarify that by the order of the Federal High Court made on October 23, 2014, the election of September 30, 2014, which purportedly brought Amaju Pinnick to office was nullified. This order was not contingent on any futuristic occurrence and was thus final.
“The application upon which the order was made was not ex-parte, but was on notice and in its judgment delivered on April 27, 2018, the Supreme Court gave recognition to this order.
“If the purported election which produced Amaju Pinnick and his group was nullified, can they and their purported board be said to have a legally recognised mandate?
“The Supreme Court had at various times clarified that if something is said to be a nullity, such a thing does not have existence. The foregoing position is anchored on an elementary principle of law that you cannot put something on nothing, and expect it to stand,” Ardzard said
He pointed out that the order of the Federal High Court made on June 5, 2018, in clear terms, restrained Amaju Pinnick and his team from parading themselves as the board of the NFF.
Giwa’s lawyer stressed that the orders of the Federal High Court made on September 19, 2014 and June 5, 2018, gave recognition to the Chris Giwa-led board of the NFF and compelled the government and relevant security agencies in the country to enforce same.
Giwa’s lawyer wondered why Keyamo should try to mislead Nigerians by saying that the names of Chris Giwa and Amaju Pinnick were not mentioned in any of the orders made by the court.
He explained that the suit at the Federal High Court was a representative action instituted on behalf of all members of the NFF board elected on August 26, 2014, including Chris Giwa.