14th April, 2019
Factional President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Musa Kida, says there is no court injunction restraining him and his board from carrying out any activity in the name of NBBF.
Kida said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) following reports that his board had no right to organise the just-concluded 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the federation held in Abuja on Saturday (April 13).
“There is no court injunction stopping us from doing anything, what you see in the press is the figment of some people who sit down and begin to misinterpret the decision of the court,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that one El Hassan Auwalu and Abdullahi Bello had in 2017 joined the Minister of Sports Solomon Dalung, Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC) and the NBBF as defendants in a suit challenging the authenticity of the election which brought Kida as president.
The NOC and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development were dragged into the matter having participated in the election as observers.
But a Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice B.O. Quadri later struck out the case, saying that the suit would amount to merely an academic exercise since the matter was already before the Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA), which the NBBF is an affiliate, in addition to its membership of the NOC.
In a related issue, Justice A.I. Chikere of Federal High Court in Abuja, had in an order of interlocutory injunction granted on March 18, 2019, restrained both factions of NBBF led by Kida and Tijani Umar from parading themselves as head of the federation until the case filed before it by boards of Kwese Premier League and two clubs — Gombe Bulls and Kwara Falcons Basketball Clubs, is resolved.
The teams which are winners and runners up of the 2018 Kwese Premier Basketball League are challenging the NBBF’s plan to organise an “abridged” Premier Basketball League for the purpose of selecting the country’s representatives in the 2018/2019 Africa Basketball League, the FIBA Africa champion clubs tournament.
However, Kida explained that it was not correct to say that there was an order of the court preventing his board from performing its duties after the court struck out the matter.
“At the beginning of our tenure, Auwalu sued the Ministry of Sports and the minister in person before the election of June 13, 2017 that brought us, trying to stop it from holding.
“After our election, Auwalu in his suit also joined us individually and collectively in the NBBF for the court to rule that we are not a board or we should not be the NBBF.
“What has happened in the last two weeks is that the court has struck it out and has said that we are the NBBF board elected on June 13, so, we challenge those misinterpreting the court ruling to prove that there is a court injunction stopping us from working.
“We have analysed it very well and we have made public statements and we abide by that because we are law abiding people,” he said.
Kida also explained that the Kwese league management which claimed it had an order of court stopping his board from running the NBBF, had no relationship whatsoever with the federation and wondered why it was attaching itself where it does not belong.
He said: “How can the Kwese League management which was formed amorphously without any legal backing or legal standing issue an order on NBBF that it has no relationship with whatsoever, claiming it has served us a court order? I find it so ridiculous and we shall take it to its finality.
“The premier league is part of our programme; normally we should kick-start it in May or June, and then we are going to be able to play home and away matches in a new format.
“But it’s going to be more elaborate than what we had in the past so that it will be an interesting professional league.