The President of Nigeria Eagles Supporters Club, Prince Vincent Okumagba, and thousands of his members are still in celebration mood following the refusal by a Federal High Court in Abuja to grant a restraining order barring the Club from parading itselve as a supporters club in the country.
The crisis in the Supporters Club had led to the emergence of two different groups about two years ago with Okumagba leading one, and Rev Samuel Ikpea spearheading the other.
The Ikpea-led group, which has Dr. Rafiu Ladipo as President General, challenged Okumagba to register his own club, insisting that he (Ladipo) registered the Nigeria Football Supporters Club (NFSC) many years ago.
“So, after wild consultation with stakeholders, we decided to register the Nigeria Eagles Supporters Club believing that it will end all the crisis,” Okumagba told The Guardian. “Surprisingly, Ladipo went to court in his effort to monopolize supporters club in Nigeria, but sadly for him, he lost at the Federal High Court, Abuja last week.
The NFSC went to court to seek an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Eagles Supporters Club from parading themselves or operating as a supporters club.
Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja, refused to grant the restraining order.
The applicant also asked for an order for interim suspension of the incorporation of the Nigeria Eagles Supporters Club by the Corporate Affairs Commission, the second respondent in the suit. But Justice Tsoho in his ruling, struck out the motion saying that the first relief sought was bereft of logic.
He said: “Having considered affidavit evidence and arguments of all counsel, I hold the view that the applicant’s application is not sustained, and it is therefore struck out.”
The judge added that the second relief sought by the applicant was already a completed act, as the Eagles Supporters Club had already been registered and incorporated by the CAC.
Okumagba told The Guardian yesterday that the Nigeria Eagles Supporters Club had over 5,000 members in 18 states of the federation, adding that his target was to have over 100,000 members in all 36 states and the FCT.
He disclosed that Nigeria Eagles Supporters Club has already been issued certificate to operate as a legal body, adding that they are fully recognized by the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Dr. Ladipo said in a chat with The Guardian yesterday that eventhough, his move to restrain the Eagles Supporters Club was turned down by the court, life must go on.
“We got a judgment against Okumagba in Lagos and Abuja and an in injunction in Ibadan. It was never celebrated in the media. I registered the Supporters Club with my personal money, and I have carried the Club for 42 years.”