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Abuja court threatens sanctions against Gumel, others

By Fidelis Ebu
Justice Othman A. Musa of an Abuja High Court during the week threatened to sanction the Habu Gumel-led Nigeria Olympic Committee should they fail to appear before him on Thursday February 25, 2010.

Justice Musa made the remark following the attitude being exhibited by the leadership of the NOC in the case of alleged forgery instituted by Shuaibu Gara Gombe against the Minister and Chairman National Sports Commission, Sani Ndanusa.

Controversial sports commentator, Gombe had dragged the NOC, Gumel and Ndanusa, to court where he accused the latter of tendering forged documents in the botched December 18, 2009 NOC elections in Dutse, the Jigawa State capital.

The NOC had however cleared the minister at its annual general meeting held last December in Dutse, an action Gombe said was a clear violation of the laws of the land as he stressed that only a competent court can clear anyone so accused.

In the resumed hearing in the matter Tuesday, Justice Musa who had granted the applicant leave to formally serve the NOC at the last sitting of the court expressed displeasure, and stated that “whereas other parties including the lawyer to the minister were in court, neither the NOC nor its representatives was in court even after it was notified of the date” and therefore vowed to deal with the principals should they fail to appear before him on the next adjourned date when hearing in the case resumes.

Suleiman Abdulkadir (SAN), is the lead counsel to the minister, and Sani Mohammed Katu from his chambers speaking shortly after the adjournment, said the allegation was a serious one and that the minister’s team is ready to pursue the matter to its logical conclusion.

He said they are being careful with comments as the matter is before the court, but added that the minister is challenging the competence of the suit on the grounds that the plaintiff has no locus standi to file the case.
“The plaintiff has no legal right to file the suit.


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