By Emmanuel Afonne
Embattled NFF factional leader Chris Giwa, has giving his own understanding of Supreme Court ruling on his tussle with NFF President Amaju Pinnick following a statement credited to Barrister Festus Keyamo, SAN.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Keyamo, counsel to Pinnick in his twitter handle said that the Apex Court merely asked the parties to go back to the Federal High Court Jos, to continue their case.
In his words: “Supreme Court did not nullify Amaju’s election. The Supreme Court did not remove Amaju from office.
“The Court only referred the case back to the Federal High Court to be tried properly, to know which of the elections held in 2014 was right.
“Amaju was not a party to the case at the Supreme Court. So, the court could not have removed a party from office without joining the party and hearing from the party,’’ Keyamo said.
But hours after Keyamo’s comment, counsel to Giwa, Barrister Chinedu Eze has warned against the misinterpretation of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Eze said: “Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to Barrister Festus Keyamo, SAN, wherein he sought to assert that Judgment of the Supreme Court delivered this morning, April 27 2018, merely asked the parties to go back to the Federal High Court to continue their case.
“This cannot be so. As will be shown below, the Supreme Court did not only remit the Suit back for trial. And there is certainly no need for anybody to mislead the general public on the state of affairs.
“The facts are these. Following the application of the Plaintiffs in the Suit, the Federal High Court made an Interim Order on Sept. 19 2014, recognising the Executive Committee elected on Aug. 25 2015 (led by Ambassador Chris Giwa) as valid; and further restrained the defunct Executive Committee whose tenure of office expired on Aug. 24 2014 (led by Alhaji Aminu Maigari) from conducting any Congress or Election to re-elect any other person to the same office.
“Despite the subsistence of the above Orders, the Alhaji Aminu Maigari-led Committee proceeded to conduct the election wherein Amaju Pinnick was elected into Office, in flagrant disobedience of subsisting orders of Court.
“This being so, the Federal High Court consequently, set aside and nullified the purported election that brought in Amaju Pinnick, “same having been held in flagrant disobedience to the order of this Honourable Court made on Sept 19, 2014.
“This development prompted Amaju Pinnick to run to the then President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, for his intervention; upon the intervention of former President Jonathan, the Plaintiffs discontinued the action on the understanding that the parties would settle their differences out of Court”.
Eze revealed that Giwa returned to the court for the matter to be re-listed after the intervention of former President Jonathan failed to yield any positive.
“It turned out that the intervention was a sham plot, so the Plaintiff had to go back to Court and prayed the Court to re-list the Suit and also restore all the previous orders made by it; the Federal High Court accordingly re-listed the suit and restored all the orders it previously made in the suit, including the order nullifying and setting aside the election that brought in the Amaju-Pinnick led Committee.
“The Amaju Pinnick-led Committee was not happy, so they appealed to the Court of Appeal and complained that the Federal High Court could not relist and restore its orders nullifying and setting aside their Election. The Court of Appeal agreed with them and set aside the decision of the Federal High Court.
“Clearly, what happened today, April 27 2018, is that the Supreme Court set aside the Judgment of the Court of Appeal and confirmed the decision of the Federal High Court relisting the case and restoring all its previous orders.
“That is to say, the decision of the Federal High Court relisting the Suit and restoring all its orders, including the order recognising the Chris Giwa Committee and the order as setting aside the election of Amaju-Pinnick, still subsists,” he said.
Read also: Supreme Court orders retrial of Giwa, Pinnick NFF tussle