*Only Supreme Court can determine the issues
Ambassador Chris Giwa has assured his friends, fans, followers and football enthusiasts not to get bothered about the said FIFA ban on members of his group saying only the Supreme Court will give determination to the issues at stake but with a caveat, we have stated our case to FIFA.
FIFA cannot like a responsible organisation shave my head without giving me room to do so. That is why the said ban comes to us as a piece of comedy. We are not bothered one inch.
The ban on the Giwa group by the Amaju Pinnick faction was announced on 12th May, 2016 as a result of a legal action instituted by the Giwa group against the Amaju group to reclaim the mandate they claim was given to them by the NFF Congress at the Chida Hotel, Abuja on 26th August, 2014.
Giwa added: “The said FIFA approval of the ban is laughable. We have so much respect for FIFA but this is a legal matter that has gone to as far as the Supreme Court of Nigeria. The Amaju group are just running away from their shadows. Only the Supreme Court can resolve the issues at stake.”
According to Giwa, the issue of supremacy of Nigeria’s laws over FIFA laws has been laid to rest long time ago by Justice Okorowo in the matter between Dr Sam Sam Jaja and Nigeria Football League Ltd, NFF and three others.
In the matter between Barrister Ray Nnaji and the NFF, the Appeal Court was very emphatic, clear and unambiguous.
“Even Article 1.1 of the NFF Statute is germane here. It simply states that the NFA is set up under Nigeria’s law and is bound by same. Justice Okorowo succinctly captured this when he ruled that FIFA is an Association registered in the commercial register in accordance with Article 60FF of Swiss Civil Code.”
Continuing, Giwa quoted Justice Okorowo to have added that: “Although it may be recognised as a law governing football all over the world and Nigeria as a member ought to be bound by it, there is no indication that it has been domesticated in Nigeria. For it to have force of law in Nigeria or compared with Nigerian laws to limited rights or obligations guaranteed under the Nigerian Statutes and indeed the Constitution, it has to be domesticated.
Therefore both NFF and FIFA Statutes with their respective provisions on arbitration have no force of law in Nigeria and cannot operate to bar plaintiff’s right of access to court.”
It could be recalled that the Supreme Court has adjourned the case twice on the grounds that Amaju’s legal team failed to make their submission to the court. However, checks by www.gongnews.net from the Supreme Court reveal that both parties have complied and a final ruling is being expected very soon.
It would be recalled that FIFA had on Tuesday, 7th February, 2017 approved the five year ban imposed by the Amaju-led Board on Ambassador Chris Giwa, Alhaji Muazu Suleyman, Yahaya Adama, Sani Fema and Effiong Johnson from participating in any football matters.