Badminton Federation Crisis: Caretaker Committee Members Missing as Court Adjourns Hearing Till January 2022

Badminton Federation Crisis: Caretaker Committee Members Missing as Court Adjourns Hearing Till January 2022

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By Bawa Jephthah

A Federal High Court in Abuja has adjourned till January 17, 2022 hearing on the case brought against the Badminton Federation of Nigeria, BFN and 5 orders by Kenneth Azuine, can report.

The case was adjourned on Friday after the court could not sit due to Judges Conference holding same day.

Speaking to our correspondent at the court premises on Friday, lead council to the
plaintiff, Joseph Akaangee said that despite a court order restraining the BFN from conducting election, the federation went ahead to constitute a caretaker committee which the court has quashed.

He noted that the order of the court stopping the respondents from parading themselves in anyway relating to the matter for adjudication still subsists

“We are lawyers for the plaintiff/applicant (Kenneth Azuine) in the matter involving Badminton Federation of Nigeria, BFN. The plaintiff is complaining of certain irregularities during the election of BFN.

“This matter has been on for the past two months. In fact, the court gave an order that that election should not hold but later, the defendants went ahead and constituted a caretaker committee which is unknown in badminton.

“The regulations guiding the federation does not recognize caretaker committee but they went ahead despite an order subsisting that they should not conduct election.

Sports Minister, Sunday Dare and BFN Caretaker Committee chairman, Francis Orbih recently.

“Then we went back to court and the court gave another order on the 25th of October, 2021 that the caretaker committee should not function and no arm of government whether ministry or agency or any private organisation whatever should deal with that caretaker committee. That is the second order of the court which is still subsisting till today,” he said.

He explained why the court did not sit as expected on Friday “Today, we came to court, the court did not sit because there is Judges Conference which is ongoing. The court told us during the last seating that the will be involved in the judges conference.”

Also speaking, another lawyer to the plaintiff, Lawrence John said that after the court order, the judge asked the parties to seek for out of court resolution but expressed disappointment that while the resolution was being sort, the BFN went ahead and constituted a caretaker committee.

“There was an ex parte order of the court restraining the defendants from doing anything pending the determination of the motion on notice. The last time the court advised that we should go and settle the matter amicably out of court.

“While the settlement was on, they went ahead and constituted this caretaker committee. The 6 defendant (BFN President) is one of the persons we instituted an action against and he is the one contesting for the office of the president of the BFN and he is the same person now being made the chairman of the caretaker committee.

“He was sworn in by the 4th defendant (BFN Electoral committee chairman) in this case. By this, indirectly, they are inaugurating a board which we are challenging presently in court and we got an ex parte order restraining them from performing any function.

“The case was scheduled for today, (Friday) October 29, unfortunately, they have not filed any paper. Since the court could not sit, we cannot do anything, that is the situation,” he said.

On whether the order still relevant despite the court not seating, Mr John said “Whether the court sits or not, the court’s order subsists until it is set aside.”

Adding that “The matter has been adjourned till January 17, 2022.”

The Badminton Federation of Nigeria, BFN has been thrown into deep crisis in the building up to its election culminating into court actions.

Mr Kenneth Azuine instituted the court action against the the minister of youth and sports, Badminton Federation of Nigeria, Francis Orbih and three others.

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