Fresh facts have emerged on how the $150,000, which world athletics ruling body (IAAF) sent to the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) was spent.
There have been conflicting reports since the alleged ‘disappearance’ of the money, which the IAAF erroneously sent to the AFN.
A top official of the immediate past board of AFN, who pleaded anonymity, told The Guardian yesterday that contrary to media reports, the payment by IAAF was meant to settle its financial obligations to the CAA/Warri Relays in 2017.
“The true story is that IAAF paid $20,000 as its contribution to the CAA/Warri Relays for last year. They erroneously sent $150, 000 to the AFN, which was a mistake by IAAF.
When the money came, AFN Secretary General, Amaechi Akawo brought $40,000 to us, and we thought that IAAF had increased the money for CAA/Warri Relays.
As at that time, there was no AFN board in place, but I was told that the secretary later got approval from the sports ministry to spend the money on certain projects. That was how the remaining $110,000 was spent,” he stated.
Speaking further, the ex-AFN board member revealed that when officials of IAAF later discovered the excess payment, a meeting was held between the two bodies during the presentation of Asaba 2018 Athletics Championship.
“We held a meeting with IAAF in London and it was agreed that AFN should find a way to refund the excess payment.
AFN president (Ibrahim Shehu Gusau) wrote to the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung to help the federation clears the debt. The picture some people are painting that IAAF wants to ban Nigeria is far from the truth, he added.
A Director in the sports ministry, Mrs. Hauwa Kuli Akinyemi also explained in a chat with The Guardian yesterday that no money was missing. “IAAF paid money into AFN account for CAA/Warri Relays and the secretary made official request, which I passed through the Permanent Secretary to the Sports Minister. That is government procedure,” she said.
Meanwhile, a board member of the AFN, former athlete, Rosa Collins has called on IAAF to commence proper investigation on the ‘missing’ $150,000.