A High Court sitting in Bukuru, Plateau, has committed, Shehu Dikko, Chairman, League Management Company (LMC) and Salish Abubakar, its Chief Operations Officer, to 14 days imprisonment for contempt. The judge, Justice Ishaku Kunda, in his ruling, committed to Jos Federal Prison on Friday for disobeying the orders of the court.
Kunda, who gave the order of committal, also issued a warrant of arrest of Dikko and Abubakar. He said that the duo had brought court of competent jurisdiction to disrepute by blatantly refusing to appear before it when they were ordered to do so. The judge said that Dikko and Abubakar disobeyed the court order that ordered the suspension of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) pending the determination of a case before the court.
The court had in August ordered LMC to reinstate Giwa Football Club after it was evicted from the NPFL by the LMC for failure to honour three fixtures in the league. Mustaphar Abubakar, who acted for himself and on behalf of Giwa FC, prayed the court to compel LMC to restore Giwa FC to the NPFL. He also prayed for rescheduling of all matches of the club which had been cancelled, and direct LMC to return to the club all players who departed the club and registered for other clubs upon its expulsion. The LMC, had through its chairman, issued a circular reinstating Giwa, but the club rejected the reinstatement for non-compliance to orders of the court.
The court also in another sitting ordered the suspension of the NPFL since the league was time bound until Giwa was reinstated, but that too was not obeyed. The court at yet another sitting, ordered that the both Dikko and Abubakar to physically appear and explain while they failed to carryout the orders were not obeyed. Kunda in his ruling said that parties were duly served the order to appear and their refusal amounted to contempt of court.
He said that the court earlier order of the suspension of the league was still valid and subsisting since it was not laid by a court of competent jurisdiction. Mr Sunday Lafat, Counsel to Giwa FC, expressed satisfaction with the ruling. The counsel to the LMC, however, declined to speak with newsmen and immediately drove out of court premises.