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AFN chief blasts NOC over ‘illegal’ meeting

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Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu Gusau, the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN)

• Says IAAF aware of developments in the federation
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has told the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) that it lacks the power to convene a meeting of its board. A member of the federation, who pleaded anonymity, said some members have threatened to boycott the meeting scheduled for tomorrow inside the conference room of the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development at Federal Secretariat in Abuja.

A letter dated June 3, 2019 and signed by NOC Secretary General, Olabanji Oladapo made it mandatory for all AFN board members to attend the meeting without stating any agenda.

“The NOC does not have the power to convene a meeting of the AFN, neither does it have the power to interfere in the internal affairs of the AFN,” said the AFN board member.

“What the NOC is doing is trying to assert an authority that does not exist because the body thinks Nigerians are naive and ignorant of the rules governing international sports.

“The AFN, for the avoidance of doubt, is only answerable to its parent body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), who has acknowledged the decision taken by the AFN board on Tuesday May 28, 2019 asking the president, Ibrahim Shehu Gusau to step aside following allegations of gross misconduct and misappropriation of funds leveled against him.

“The IAAF in an email sent to the federation of Friday May 31, 2019 by Jee Isram, a senior manager in-charge of
Governance, Member and International Relations, and who is also head of protocol, acknowledged the fact that a panel has been set up to investigate the allegations against Hon Gusau,” revealed the top AFN member.

According to the board member, the email reads inter-alia: “Dear Secretary General, We acknowledge the receipt of your email regarding the suspension of the president of your federation. With regard to the contents of your email, we understand that a committee has been set up to investigate the allegations leveled against the president.

“However, for our files, can you please forward to us the convening notice of the AFN board meeting held on 28 May as well as the minutes of that meeting.”

The AFN chief revealed that the federation had sent the necessary documents (notice of meeting and minutes) to the IAAF regarding the decision of the AFN board on May 28.

“The IAAF is on top of happenings in the federation. I think the suspended president of the federation is trying to use the NOC to perform an illegality on Thursday by going against the constitution of the federation and international best practices.  Gusau, who is yet to clear himself of the allegations leveled against him, wants to reinstate himself.

“As far as we are concerned, the IAAF have spoken and until something to the contrary comes from Monaco, Gusau remains suspended.”


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