The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja today says both the Nigeria Football Federation,NFF and the Nigeria Premier League,NPL, are illegal bodies not recognized by law.
Justice Donatus Okwubuwa presiding over the case brought by Mr. Sam Jaja, over his exclusion as a board member of the NPL, says the bodies recognized by Nigerian laws are the Nigeria Football Association, NFA, and the Nigeria Football League,NFL, and not NFF and NPL.
The court thereafter ruled that there was no justifiable reason for Mr. Jaja’s exclusion from participating in elections into the board as he was fully qualified.
In his response, Mr Jaja said “this judgement is an indication that truth will always prevail over falsehood,”
The judge while ruling in favour of the applicant also said, that FIFA laws cannot override Nigeria’s domestic laws in cases where the two conflict.
Mr. Sam Jaja was excluded from participating in the NPL elections in 2010 in controversial circumstances after he was disqualified by the electoral committee first on the basis of a petition against him, and secondly the election committee said he was not properly nominated.
In disqualifying him, the committee said he was not disqualified on the basis of the petitions against him, but on technical grounds because his nomination was not signed by the appropriate person. Mr. Jaja’s nomination form was said to have been signed by Cyril Wite, the Secretary of Sharks FC of Port Harcourt instead of Okey Kpaluku, the general manager, who was temporarily redeployed from office by the state government to facilitate Mr. Jaja’s endorsement.
For this, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) suspended Sharks from the League pending the return of the general manager to office. The state government complied to stave off the punishment, but the NPL electoral committee insisted Mr. Jaja remained disqualified.