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Jos Court of Appeal adjourns Giwa, LMC hearing

The Court of Appeal, Jos division, which sat Monday has directed that there should be no attempt to tamper with the subject matter of the appeal by the League Management Company (LMC) against the orders of Justice I.I. Kunda of the Plateau State High Court, Jos.

This is even as the Inspector General of Police on Monday increased police presence at the premises of the LMC to protect the staff and their activities.  Justice Kunda had amongst several rulings ordered the LMC to reinstate Giwa FC in the 2015/16 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and also the committal to prison of LMC Chairman, Shehu Dikko and Salihu Abubakar, the Chief Operating Officer on contempt charges.

The rulings emanated from a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by one Mustapha Abubakar, a supporter of Giwa FC who claimed that the expulsion of the club from the NPFL has denied him the right to get value for season’s ticket he purchased.

The LMC had on all occasions of the ruling of Justice Kunda challenged the orders at the Court of Appeal and filed for stay of execution which led to the hearing yesterday by Justices of the Appeal Court, Jos Division. At the hearing of the appeals, the Court of Appeal directed that it was going to hear all appeals and motions filed by the LMC on the same date.

The hearing could not, however, proceed because Barrister Habila Ardzard, Counsel to the respondent, Mustapha Abubakar who is also Counsel to Giwa FC, informed the Court of Appeal that they had only just filed their preliminary objection to LMC’s motion on the morning of the case.

Adzard thereafter requested for an adjournment to allow time for service of their papers on all parties to the appeal. The Court of Appeal granted this request and directed that they must ensure service on all parties by the next adjourned date.

The Court of Appeal adjourned the matter to October 11, 2016, to hear the consolidated appeal and all motions and objections filed by the parties. LMC has maintained, consistently, that it is not bound to obey an order of the lower court that it has appealed against, while that appeal and its application for stay of execution are pending before the Court of Appeal.

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