By Ben Efe
Athletics Federation of Nigeria members who participated in ‘sharing’ the US$135,000 being an overpayment of grants by the world athletics ruling body IAAF have been given three days to refund the money or resign from their positions in the troubled federation.
The Sports Ministry’s permanent secretary gave the directive, it was gathered, after an emergency meeting of the AFN board Tuesday evening in Abuja.
And it remained to be seen if the members fingered in the misappropriation of the fund will respond as the deadline given by the IAAF to refund the sum fast approaches.
Though details of the meeting remain sketchy and members are keeping sealed lips, it was gathered that bulk of the money was spent on buying kits for the 2018 African Championships in Asaba and the AFN president, Ibrahim Gusau and his right-hand man and technical director Sunday Adeleye had offered an explanation on what transpired. The duo had been running the AFN without inputs from other members of the board.
“It is an embarrassment to this country what has been going on in the AFN. Those who have shared the money must have to refund it or they should just honourably resign from the board,” a top sports ministry official confirmed yesterday.
The IAAF had given Nigeria two weeks starting from May 15 to refund the money or face sanctions, which many have translated to mean a ban of the country from participating in international events.