The Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Sunday Adeleye has demanded the release of the probe panel report embarked upon by the Sports Ministry over the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) money given to Nigeria.
It will be recalled that the world athletics body had made the payment of 150,000 dollars to AFN, instead of 15,000 dollars as a grant to support its activities.
IAAF had contacted the AFN in March 2018, when the anomaly was detected, and asked AFN to refund the sum of 135,000 dollars which was wrongfully credited to it.
Adeleye, who is AFN’s Technical Director of AFN, told newsmen in Abuja that the money had regrettably not been refunded till date, leading to IAAF threatening to ban Nigeria.
He however said IAAF paid the money to AFN account prior to the emergence of the present board, pointing out that the board met an empty treasury in July 2017.
“We came in as a new board after this money came into the Federation and it got missing before we settled in.
“We have documents of the whole transaction and what happened to that money.
“It is unfortunate that we will now be used as scapegoats. We wrote the then Minister (Solomon Dalung) when the issue of excess payment by IAAF came up, and asked him to do something before it generates into a negative issue against the country.
“The ministry went on to set up a probe panel, but it later stopped the probe. So, why did the Minister stop the probe?
“What was the outcome of the probe? Let the ministry bring out the report of the probe panel,” Adeleye said.
He said the current leadership of AFN should be absolved of the controversy, adding that the Board did not approve the release of any money from the said amount.
“Ibrahim Gusau (AFN President) never met any money in the account of AFN. We don’t know anything about the 150,000 dollars IAAF fund. Those who know about the money are already promising to pay 50 per cent of the money.
“So, the ministry will pay because the Secretary-General of the Federation at the time and who was the signatory to the account is a staff of the ministry.
“He is the eye and mouthpiece of the Ministry,” the AFN board member said.
Adeleye also alleged that the immediate-past Sports Minister was attempting to create chaos within the AFN board.
“We were not invited for a meeting as a board to the ministry, but some very few people among us were invited.
“I only got to the meeting and saw about four people saying that they are the executive board of AFN.
“For the records, 13 persons constitute the board of AFN and the situation cannot be right when you have three or four people signing and saying they want to suspend the president of the Federation, just because they had the backing of the former minister.”