The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Wednesday began the battle to restore its legality as the body went to the Court of Appeal, Abuja, to challenge a Federal High Court declaration that both the NFF and the Nigerian Premier League (NPL) are not properly incorporated and therefore not known to the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Federal High Court pronouncement was made on January 20, 2012, as the Judge, Donatus Okorowo, delivered judgment in a case brought by the former chairman of Nigeria Referees Association (NRA), Sam Jaja, over his disqualification from the May 8, 2010 NPL elections.
Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Media officer, confirmed the move by the NFF to appeal adding that the federation has also filed a motion-on-notice for stay-of-execution.“The NFF has also filed a motion-on-notice for stay-of-execution of the High Court’s judgment at the same High Court, while we filed a Notice of Appeal at the Court of Appeal, Abuja,” a press statement from Mr. Olajire read in part.“The Nigeria Football Federation is seeking an Order staying and/or suspending the execution, further execution and or compliance with all or any of the Orders in the judgment of the Honourable Justice of this Honourable Court delivered on the 20th January 2012 pending hearing and determination of the Appeal against the judgment filed on the 25th day of January, 2012 and now pending before the Court of Appeal, Abuja”.Mr. Olajire informed Premium Times that the motion on notice for stay-of-execution will be heard on Thursday, February 2, 2012 at the Federal High Court, Abuja.A former member of the House of Representative, Dino Melaye, believes the NFF is towing the wrong part with its appeal. Mr. Melaye suggested that the body should lobby the National Assembly to swiftly effect the change in name from NFA to NFF.
“I don’t think the court will solve this problem, let the NFF lobby those in the sports committee in the National Assembly who will in turn lobby their other colleagues. Once the National Assembly can legalise the change the logjam will be cleared once and for all,” he said.