The immediate past minister of Youth and Sorts, Barrister Solomon Dalung has again revealed that the Athletics Federation of Nigeria diverted the missing $130,000 for’ something else’.
He further disclosed that the issue has been amicably resolved between the federation and the International Associations Athletics Federations, IAAF.
“On the issue of IAAF, I think it was mismanaged and so many interpretations have been made to it, the former minister said.
“But the position about it today is that the issue has been resolved amicably between the federation and the IAAF leadership. The issue of stealing is an exaggeration of facts by some persons for their hatred for personality.
“The intention of using the word “stealing” is to try to demean the person of the minister but nothing was stolen. Nothing was even spent out of context.
“The amount was meant for Warri Golden Relay which was effectively hosted. IAAF was even in Warri. The point of departure was that when the money was released to Nigeria on the 11th May, 2017, the account of AFN was credited.
“On the 19th, the director of finance and administration of IAAF wrote the federation to say ‘we have credited your account with $150, 000 grant to support the Warri Relay.’
Paragraph two of the letter stated that ‘this amount corresponds with the grant approved for you.’
“Two months later, an unsigned document was sent to the federation and paragraph one said ‘we were informed by CAA that we mistakenly transferred $150, 000 to your account instead of $20, 000.
“Therefore, can you ask your bankers to try to resolve the issue?’
“When this issue came to the attention of the ministry, we met with the leadership of IAAF and we agreed that government will pay 50 per cent of that amount.
“The ministry approved more than 60% of the money because N39 million is about $124, 000. Which was given to the federation to refund it to IAAF.
“Unfortunately, the federation, in its own wisdom felt that the money should be diverted to something else. So that is the basis of this crisis that has misled so many people to write and write. If the commitment of the ministry were met by the federation, we would have not been in this problem.
“But of course, in our discussion with President Sebastian Coe, (IAAF President) these were made clear to him and he understood, and appreciated that as a partner, there is no need to ruffle the relationship therefore, let us take it up from there and see how we will remedy it. We have taken steps to ensure that the issue is resolved amicably,” the former minister said.