Basketball in Seesaw Petitions!

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Liberian basketball president Rufus Anderson and Calvin Diggs, a member of aggrieved stakeholders.jpg

After the injunction restraining order filed on the Liberia Basketball Association two days congress, which was to begin on Friday, August 7, the Rufus Anderson’s leadership overturned the petition.

Reports said the Aggrieved Stakeholders’ bond for their petition valued about US$50,000 but the Anderson leadership upturned it with a bond of US$100,000.

His Honor Judge Yusuf D. Kaba of the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court, Montserrado County, gracefully lifted the Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order; hence Rufus Anderson’s administration has a “new march order” to go ahead with congress.

After 24 hours – on Wednesday, August 12, the Aggrieved Basketball Stakeholders, through the Sayeh and Sayeh Law Firm, headed by Cllr. Wilfred Sayeh, filed another Stay Order, to halt the Anderson’s order.

In a telephone interview with the spokesperson of the aggrieved stakeholders, Calvin Diggs, he said they are expected to appear before Judge Kaba today (Thursday) at 2:00pm to give or provide evidence why the stay order should be maintained.

Unconfirmed report said the aggrieved stakeholders, which include Malcolm Joseph and Ali Sylla are expected to display dossier of constitutional crisis and inappropriate financial records to defend their action.

Also, in a telephone interview with Rufus Anderson, he explained that the “Stay Order” came in the conclusion of finalizing a “new day” for the congress.

Though, he minced his words, Anderson stated that the LBA is resolved to “win the case” and stage the congress.

The Ministry of Youth and Sports – the political governing body of the sports in the country and the “failed” negotiator between the Rufus Anderson administration and the aggrieved party has promised not intervene in the court’s proceedings.

Deputy Minister for Sports, Henry Yonton, said the Ministry respects the court and would abide by any decision.

The President of the Liberia National Olympic Committee, Philipbert Brown, said the court is the right place to settle disputes, so the LNOC also supports any decision.

It may be recalled that the court, in its June Term AD 2015, ordered the writ under the hand of Ellen Hall, Clerk of Court to stop the fifth planned basketball congress. The first date was January 28; later to February 6 and 7, and to February 17 and 18 and then to April 7.

“Respondents are hereby ordered restrained, enjoined, refrained and prohibited from conducting 1st Respondent (LBA) Congress and elections until otherwise ordered by this court,” the writ said.

Since January 2015, with the resumption of all sporting activities across the country after the Ebola outbreak, there has been wrangling over illegitimacy, bogus clubs and financial misapplication in the Liberia Basketball Association.

The Ministry of Youth and Sports in collaboration with the Liberia National Olympic Committee (LNOC) fruitlessly intervened to resolve the crisis between the LBA leadership, headed by Rufus Anderson and the Aggrieved Stakeholders, led by Calvin Diggs, Malcolm Joseph, Ali Sylla and Edwin Fahnbulleh.

Recently, during a protest against Rufus Anderson’s administration, two entrances of the Sports Commission were sealed off (wielded) and players displayed placards, which was climaxed with a bloody fight between the parties at the Liberia Baptist Seminary.

After several unsuccessful attempts, the Ministry of Youth and Sports wrote the continental governing body of basketball, FIBA-Africa to intervene in the LBA leadership case.

Deputy Sports Minister Henry Yonton said in his letter dated 3 April that on the ongoing stalemate was due to the unremitting contestation for “legitimacy and expiration of tenure” by some aggrieved members, structured under the named: Liberia Basketball Presidents Association.

Other issues included accusation against the MYS for releasing funds to Anderson’s leadership when the crisis was yet to be resolved, and accusing the MYS as deceptive practice in the resolution of the case.

Though Minister Yonton rejected the accusation of any form of deception in the search for solution in the LBA crisis, it could not address why it released U$58,000 to Anderson’s administration.

In spite of their argument an MOU was signed and an elections commission, headed by Yanqueh Borsay appointed.

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