Sports Ministry Disputes Gusau’s Claims About Appeal Court Judgement

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The Nigerian Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has described as untrue the claims purportedly made by Engineer Ibrahim Shehu Gusau (pictured above) on the Social Media that the Ministry lost its appeal at the Court of Appeal and confirmed him the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).

It can be recalled that the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development filed a formal appeal on July 8, 2020 against what it described as ‘declarative judgement’ of an Abuja High Court made in favour of Engineer Ibrahim Gusau against the AFN board led by Honourable Olamide George.

Gusau went to court following his impeachment as AFN president by the board of the Nigerian athletics ruling body over alleged maladministration. The board consequently elected its former Vice-President, George, as substantive President of the body.

“The attention of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has been drawn to the claim by Engr. Ibrahim Shehu Gusau in the Social Media that the Court of Appeal, Abuja re-affirmed him as the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) in his proceedings of 29th July 2020,” a statement released by the Legal Department, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development on Thursday stated.

“Contrary to the claim in the social media, what happened on the 29th July 2020 was that the Ministry (the Appellant) through its counsel applied for the withdrawal of the pending motion on notice for stay of the execution of the Federal High Court, Abuja on judgement delivered on the 1st July 2020 to enable the Honourable Court proceed to the hearing of the substantive appeal which was already ripe or due for hearing and which was also slated for hearing on the 29th July 2020 along with the motion on notice for stay.

“It was therefore at the instance of the Ministry or upon its application for withdrawal of the motion. The Honourable Court struck out the motion on notice for stay as a matter of legal procedure to pave the way for the expeditious hearing of the substantive appeal.

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“The Honourable Court thereafter proceeded to hear the substantive appeal and reserved its judgement to a date to be communicated to the parties.”

The Sports Ministry added: ‘It is on record that the Honourable Court did not either at the time of the withdrawal of the motion on notice for stay of execution and the striking out of the same nor at the time of the hearing of the substantive appeal of the said 29th July 2020 re-affirm Engr. Ibrahim Shehu Gusau as the President of AFN and/or pronounce on the status of Engr. Ibrahim Shehu Gusau.

“Based on the foregoing, the claim of Engr. Ibrahim Shehu Gusau that the Court of Appeal, Abuja re-affirmed him as the President of AFN when there was no such pronouncement or decision by the Honourable Court on 29th July 2020 or at anytime whatsoever and when the appeal reserved for judgement is not only untrue but contemptuous of the Court of Appeal, Abuja.

“We therefore, appeal to the Board of AFN and Members of the public to disregard the false claims/publications and await the decision of the Court of Appeal, Abuja which will be delivered in no distant time. We the Appellant, have implicit and unwavering confidence that the Court of Appeal, Abuja would deliver justice to the parties in the appeal.”

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