Basketball Premier League: High Court Strikes Out Case Against NBBF

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NBBF President, Musa Kida

By; AYO OJEDOKUN, Lagos

A High Court sitting in Abuja has thrown out the frivolous case instituted by the League Management Board (LMB), Ibrahim Sa’ad on behalf of Gombe Bulls and Dr Adegbite Adeyemo on behalf of Kwara Falcons stopping the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) from organizing the Men’s Premier Basketball Leagues.

The case instituted in 2018 by the fictitious group praying the court to bestow on them the authourity to organise the league, was quashed as the judge ruled that the case lacked merit.

Based on the arguments by both parties, the court in its landmark ruling said it was needless to go into substantive issues brought before it after the preliminary objections of the plaintiffs were granted.

Following its objection, the court ruled that the case was not properly filed, hence the reasons for striking out the case.

According to the court, the case lacked merit as people joined in the case were not entities who derive legal recognition on their own.

Breaking the case down, Barrister Emmanuel Okibe who represented the Federal Ministry of Sports explained that in his preliminary objection, he argued that Nigeria Basketball Federation divided into Kida or TJ Umar factions as the plaintiffs wanted the court to believe were not a juristic persons and unknown to law.

Although court agreed with the plaintiff’s counsel, Barrister Emmanuel Enejoh who represented the League Management Board and others that some bodies even though not registered by law are recognized as juristic persons but ruled that the appellants did not sue the NBBF as a body which could be regarded as a known entity but chose to sue Nigeria Basketball Federation, Kida Faction and Nigeria Basketball Federation, TJ Umar faction which were unknown to law.

Barrister Okibe also said, “We argued that originating summon was not the proper mode of commencing this type of suit. Such summons are usually filed when the court is just meant to interpret a document where there are no dispute of facts which the court also agreed.”

According to the court, in a case where there were no proper plaintiffs or defendants, the court lacked jurisdiction to decide the matter as the case was struck out totally.

In light of the latest decision in favor of the Nigeria Basketball Federation and the conclusion of the case, the interlocutory injunction issued on the 3rd of March, 2019 restraining the defendants, its agents, privies and/or servants from organizing the Men’s Premier Basketball League has ceased to exist.

Comprehensive statement of the ruling is expected to be released on Thursday.

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