|Baribote: wetin this Jalla dey find sef?|
A Federal High Court in Abuja presiding over the the case between the ousted Nigeria Premier League (NPL) board led by Chief Victor Rumson Baribote and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) which has been adjourned to 5th of February is gathering a side storm.
A source close to the plaintiffs in the matter said, “much as we have a very good case against the NFF, what is the interest of the President of the National Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF), Harrison Jalla? Please advise him to leave this case for us. His entry is ruffling feathers so badly. We are simply not comfortable in their entry.”
The matter which first came up for hearing on the 21st December, 2012 and continued on the 28th December 2012 where Jalla was arrested by the Police and detained illegally for more than 15 days, wherein, Jalla applied to be joined as an interested party.
The NPL board led by Chief Victor Baribote had filed an experte motion for an interlocutory injunction restraining the NFF, NPL and any agent acting on their behalf from carrying out its (elected-NPL board) functions.
Jalla’s counsel, Belo Aideloje, had applied to be joined in the matter. At the resumed hearing of the matter, Aideloje told the court that the two parties before the court cannot and should not be heard given that they are not competent. He referred to existing judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja which ruled that the NFF and the NPL are illegal bodies which to date have not been vacated in any superior court.
Counsel of the NFF and Baribote jointly argued strenuously as to why Jalla and his NANF should not be allowed in the matter. After listening to Aideloje whose motion was already before the court, the Presiding Judge, Justice A.R. Mohammed of Courtroom 7 Abuja, adjourned the case to next month when he is expected to rule on which motion will be adopted between those of the three parties.
The Chairman of the dissolved NPL board believes due process was not followed in the removal of his cabinet from office.
“We were wrongfully and unlawfully removed from office on 11th December, 2012 by the NFF and NPL Club chairmen, Baribote asserted.
It will be recalled that nineteen NPL Club Chairmen held a Congress at Trix Air Hotel in Abuja on the 11th December, 2012 and passed a vote of no confidence on the Baribote led NPL board citing gross misconduct, misappropriation of funds, lack of title sponsorship of the league amongst other accusations.