A legal luminary and Senior Advocate or Nigeria (SAN), Patrick I.N. Ikwueto, has vowed to seek orders of contempt against the Amaju Pinnick-led board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) if they refused to vacate office following Friday’s judgment of the Supreme Court which restored an order of the Federal High Court in Jos that nullified the elections that brought them to power in September 2014.
The apex court in a unanimous judgment, set aside the 2016 ruling of the Appeal Court on the ground that it erred in struck out the order of the Federal High Court in that re-list the case. The apex court also affirmed that the order stand and remains in force until it is annulled by court decree. It ordered the High Court to hear the matter on merit and give it an accelerated hearing.
Reacting to the controversies that has since trailed the judgment, Barrister Ikwueto (SAN), said for people to arguing that Supreme Court did not sack Pinnnick was an understatement.
“I read what Festus Keyamo (SAN) posted out on the social media concern the Supreme Court ruling and I understood his positions because he was the council to defendants and having lost in the matter he has to say something. But to make an argument that Supreme Court did not sack Pinnnick and his board as an understatement.
If he agreed that the Supreme Court made an order re-listing the case and restored all the orders previously made by the High Court, the question one would be if the orders by the High Court setting aside the Congress at which Pinnick was elected, then under what colour of title, authority or legal basis would he occupied office that he would not violate the law.
“Unless one is saying or suggesting that we can going on with the issue under self help and that it doesn’t matter if there was an order of court or not he don’t care. But don’t forget that under Nigeria’s law by session 287, subsection 3 of the 1999 Constitution as amended: every person, authority anywhere in Nigeria is enjoined to enforce and obey judgement of the High Court,” he stated.
Speaking further the legal luminary added that if NFF boss and his group continued to violate court order, the machinery of the law will be activate and have them commit to prison for contempt.
“If anybody wants to violate the court order, the law is there. We would activate the machinery of the law and have such persons commit to prison for contempt of court.
He added that he expect the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung as a responsible citizen to obey the Supreme Court ruling and enforce the order of the court.
“I don’t dwelling on speculation because the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports is a responsible gentle man. I have not met him personally, but have seen him talking and how he conduct his affairs. I would be surprise the minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who is suppose to be a law abiding citizen, would see court order clearly and do not obey it.”
NFF president Amaju Pinnick has been locked in a bitter battle with Chris Giwa over who rules Nigerian football in the last four years.