A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday declared the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Nigeria Football League (NFL) Limited known as the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) as illegal bodies.
The Federal High Court judge, Donatus Okorowo also pronounced that the Fifa statutes under which the NFF operates within cannot be forced in Nigeria.
Former President of the Nigeria Referees Association (NRA), Dr Sam Sam Jaja has instituted the case in March 2010 challenging his disqualification to run for the NPL election, which Davidson Owumi won.
Owumi has since been replaced by Victor Rumson Baribote as NPL chairman last year.
Jaja in his motion prayed that the court determine the legality of NFF and NPL in line with the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.
But the NFF had argued that the statutes of Fifa remain the platform for football regulation and disputes in Nigeria.
The federation added that the Fifa statutes makes provision for arbitration since it (Fifa) frowns at taking football matters to a civil court of law.
In the judgment that lasted 165 minutes on Friday, the judge said until the National Assembly of the country domesticates Fifa laws in accordance with Section 12 of the Nigerian Constitution any activity by the federation remains void. He also declared that the NFF should wind up.
Justice Okorowo also declared that the nation's laws recognises only the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) under the 2004 Act.
The judge also granted the ten reliefs asked for by Jaja and ruled that the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) only incorporated NFA and not the NFF.
Okorowo added that Jaja was unfairly disqualified from running in the 2010 NPL election having met all requirement as stipulated in the election guidelines.
On the NPL, the judge said the league body was not legal as at the time it joined the NFF as one of the registered trustees of the company, NFL Limited, in spite of being registered with the CAC.
Okorowo also directed the NPL (NFL) to close shop after failing to meet the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).
Lawyer to Jaja, Phil Oguchukwu, was directed to file contempt proceedings against the NFF and the NPL if both bodies continue to operate after Okorowo's ruling on Friday.
SuperSport.com also learned that the judgment on the case has been put off on five occasions.
However in a swift reaction to the Federal High Court judgment, the NFF through its general secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu, said its lawyer was yet to brief it since he (the lawyer) was yet to get a copy of the judgment.
“We have not seen a copy of the judgement apart from the chat we had with our lawyer. He said something about the NFF and NPL not being properly incorporated or registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, but the lawyer himself was yet to get a copy of the judgement. However, the learned Judge did not make any consequential order thereto.
“By the time we get a copy of the judgement on Monday, we will be able to react fully. As for now, the business of running Nigeria football is unaffected, as we have 90 days to appeal any judgement, during which the status quo, legally, remains, said Amadu.