Jos court halts Nigeria’s league

BY JOE APU

Nigerian football yesterday witnessed another jolt following a Jos High Court ruling suspending the Nigeria Professional League indefinitely pending when the League Management Company(LMC) fully complies with the earlier order reinstating Giwa FC.
Justice I. I. Kunda in his ruling delivered at the Plateau State High Court, which sat in Bukuru, near Jos on Wednesday, decried the delay tactics being employed by the counsel to the LMC, Olumide Olujimi, to delay the case, knowing fully well that the Nigerian league is time bound and the league would have effectively ended before the case is determined.
It would be recalled that sequel to the expulsion of Giwa Football Club of Jos, a State High Court sitting in Bukuru, Jos, Plateau State had granted the prayers of the Club seeking its reinstatement to the Nigerian Professional Football League.
Counsel to Giwa FC, SD Ekara, had tabled five prayers before the Court, which included: “That the NFF and LMC be restrained from further organizing any matches pending the hearing of the motion on notice.
“Interlocutory injunction compelling the LMC to reschedule all matches Giwa FC did not play as a result of the purported expulsion.
“Injunction recalling all Giwa FC players summarily released and signed by other clubs, restoration of Giwa FC to the league pending the hearing of the motion on notice and such other pronouncements as the court may deem fit.”
In a judgement delivered by Kunda, who is a vacation judge, on August 12, 2016, the League Management Company and the Nigerian Football Federation were restrained from restraining Giwa Football Club from playing matches in the Nigerian Professional Football League pending the determination of the motion on notice.
The Judge also ordered the first and second respondents to reschedule all the matches that Giwa FC failed to play as a result of its purported expulsion from the league.
The LMC was also ordered to immediately return all the players of Giwa FC that were summarily released and signed by other clubs.
However, in a swift reaction, the League Management Company, stated that they are yet to be served and as such the league will go on as scheduled.