What could have thrown the Nigeria’s premier football league into major crisis was averted earlier in the week as a legal case that queried the legitimacy of the organizing body, the League Management Company (LMC), was dismissed in Benin.
According to ThisDay newspaper, Justice Demi Ajayi of the Federal High Court in Benin City, on Monday, 2019 affirmed that the incorporation of the LMC Limited was validly registered under the laws of Nigeria.
Delivering judgment in Suit No. FHC/B/CS/93/14 filed by veteran Journalist, Ben Lawrence in 2014, Hon. Justice Ajayi struck out the suit against the LMC and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) challenging the legality of the registration of the LMC which had been incorporated in 2013 for the participating football clubs of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
The Court further declared that the plaintiff, Ben Lawrence, had no locus in the first instance to institute the suit against the incorporation of LMC under the companies law and, thus, was a busybody and an interloper.
Shehu Dikko, the Chairman of LMC while expressing satisfaction with the judgment, commended the Court for upholding the truth and justice in the matter.
He, also lamented the huge cost in time and other resources brought upon LMC by the suit which he described as “frivolous and totally baseless suit filed by the plaintiff and supported by those who desired merely to derail the well-ordered and legal administration of the apex football league in Nigeria”.
“They did this in the hope of ultimately profiting from the expected disorder”, lamented Dikko and recalled that the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, had similarly struck out an earlier suit filed in 2013 to also challenge the incorporation of LMC during the tenure of his predecessor in office, Nduka Irabor.
Also, Ifeanyi Egwasi of Chief Akin Olujinmi, SAN & Co, representing the LMC, commended the Court for the judgment restating the legal status of LMC, which he said has never been in doubt whatsoever.
Counsel to the plaintiff, O.A.K Osinowo Esq, indicated his client’s intention to appeal against the judgment delivered against his client.
The five years legal battle had seen the parties fight their way up to the Court of Appeal and back again to the Federal High Court before final judgment was delivered on Monday.