LIVE BLOG: NFF Court proceedings

Tuesday 10 July 2018

/ by Colin Udoh

Jos High Court, where the NFF issue is being argued

Judge adjourns case to September 25. Did not rule on motion to vacate ex parte Order. That has big implications.
Within means the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court will have to transfer this case to a vacation judge so that the ruling can be made on time.
Otherwise, Chris Giwa continues to claim he is NFF President, and a FIFA ban could well be imminent.
But we will hear from lawyers soon
Osasu Obayuwana
Here’s the challenge. For the case to be heard by the vacation judge, counsel for Maigari, Amaju and Pinnick have to agree to make the application to the CJ of the FHC, for the case to be hasn’t to him for hearing duringnthe vacation period.
If the new counsel for Maigari and Amadu is not prepared to do so, Keyamo is constrained.”

So far, all the arguments have been on procedure. The new lawyer for Maigari and Amadu says he will need time to consult with his clients since a motion was filed on their behalf by Keyamo

At this rate, we may be heading for an adjournment with very little decided in this case today, except for the withdrawal of Keyamo from representing both Maigari and Amadu. He now represents just Amaju Pinnick and NFF

Judge is back out now and seated. We are set to proceed

Court is on recess. Was supposed to be a 30-minute recess but is going on an hour now.
So far though, there has been no discussion of the substantive suit. At this rate, might be hard to get any real outcome from today's sitting.
But we wait

Curveball time

Osasu Obayuwana asks:
"I am surprised the Judge did not ask Keyamo whether he had been notified by his ‘clients’ that they no longer wanted him to handle their case, before today’s appearance."

Kosoko answers
"Keyamo raised the issue earlier and was furious that neither the clients nor the learned colleague informed him until when appearances were on. The Judge was silent on this until the new Counsel,  Shankyula tendered an affidavit as directed by Maigari and Ahmadu. In fact Keyamo says he will take it up with the NBA Leadership on the issue."

"The lawyer has behaved very badly. He is supposed to have notified his colleague in advance. That is the time-honoured practice. And the clients should have notified him too. This is dishonourable behaviour."

Argument on the withdrawal of a motion filed on 28th May by Keyamo. The Plaintiff is saying the withdrawal should be by a motion and not orally before the court. That has been the argument. The Judge just ruled that application and responses can be taken orally.

Kosoko explains:
"With Keyamo withdrawing as Counsel to Maigari and Ahmadu, he went ahead to withdraw an earlier motion filed on behalf of the two which was done orally in the court. However, the Plaintiff argued that it should be by application and that has been the argument since until now."

The lawyers are busy arguing on distractions that has to do with proceedings on withdrawal of motions while the issue at hand is yet to be addressed.

"I'm amazed at the line of arguments going on and the swinging to and fro by the Counsels. Awaiting what the Judge will say. He is still writing."

The new counsel tries to ask for an adjournment. Maybe to delay proceedings?
"That seems to be the agenda. He was cut short for now by the Judge when he was saying that he is not in possession of some documents."

In the middle of that, the NFF releases a press statement challenging the EFCC Investigation which was announced by the Ministry of Sports last week
You can read the full text here

The issue of appearances seems to be a distraction now which is being addressed. Justice Musa Kurye just granted the withdrawal of Keyamo as Counsel to Maigari and Ahmadu while Shankyula is to proceed as Counsel to the defendants.

Osasu Obayuwana, journalist and lawyer:
"The implication of what has happened is that Keyamo can no longer lead the legal argument. He can only act as Counsel to Amaju and the NFF, who are interested parties, but not the ones directly sued."

Interestingly, an amicus curiae has appeared in the matter.
An "amicus curiae" is a "friend of the court". Not a party to a case and may not have been solicited by anyone in the matter. This one is Judge A Bello

According to Kosoko: "He says he has some court judgement that will assist in addressing the matter. However, Keyamo and Ikwueto, Counsel to Plaintiff agreed that the Case has not gotten to that level."

Drama for now. The argument so far has to do with appearances for (Aminu) Maigari and (Musa) Ahmadu. A new Counsel announced appearance for both while Keyamo had earlier announced for both. However, Keyamo after all announced his withdrawal from appearing for both. The issue for today is yet to be addressed.

Looks like the appearance of new counsel took Keyamo by surpise
Kosoko "It appears so. He's more concerned for the matter to proceed."

The Judge just entered now. Festus Keyamo SAN is in court (for NFF/Amaju). Introduction of Counsels.

D-Day has arrived in the NFF case. Both parties (Amaju Pinnick and his board and Chirs Giwa and his board) will be in court to argue their respective cases.

If you need a reminder of where we stand, go here

We will bring you real time updates courtesy of Yemi Kosoko, who is in court following the proceedings

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