The prolonged tussle for leadership of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) between the incumbent president, Melvin Amaju Pinnick and defacto head, Ambassador Chris Giwa has suffered yet another court adjournment in Jos.
Though a cloud of publicity hung over the latest hearing, the Federal High Court sitting in Jos on Friday failed to vacate the ex-parte granted Giwa on June 5, which gave him the impetus to declare himself as NFF president.
Following that order, Giwa moved into the NFF headquarters last month, and Pinnick rushed to the court with three motions on notice to vacate the order.
When the case came up for hearing on Friday, counsel to Pinnick, Festus Ukpe, told the court that he had filed three motions on notice and was seeking the leave of court to move them.
He said that the motions sought to ask the court to vacate the ex-parte order earlier granted Giwa on June 5, 2018 so that Nigeria could escape a ban from football activities as threatened by FIFA.
But Giwa’s counsel, Mr Habila Ardzard, raised an objection to Pinnick’s motions, and notified the court of a pending appeal he filed before the Jos Court of Appeal in respect of the case.
He explained that the appeal was challenging the ruling of Justice Musa Kurya which allowed Pinnick to serve Giwa a photocopy of the said motions on notice, instead of original copies.
Ardzard argued that any attempt by the judge to hear any of Pinnick’s motions would amount to “abuse of court processes’’ and “judicial rascality.’’
“My Lord, this Honourable court has been informed of the said appeal before the Jos Court of Appeal, and by that, this court lacks the jurisdiction to continue with this matter pending the determination of the appeal.
“This is the position of the Supreme Court and that of the Appellate court; if the lower court will do otherwise, it will only be setting itself on collision course with the Appex and Appellate Courts.
“We hereby urge your lordship to adjourn the case pending the determination of the appeal by the appellate court,” he argued.
Kurya, in his ruling, said that there were two posers – whether there was an appeal, and whether he could continue with the matter.
In answering the two posers, the judge declared that he had resolved the two in favour of Giwa, and therefore decided to adjourn the case indefinitely.
“Since there is an appeal before the appellate court, I don’t want to be involved in any judicial rascally, therefore I hereby adjourn the case indefinitely,’’ he declared.
The latest attempt is the third by Pinnick to convince the court to vacate the Ex-parte order it granted Giwa.