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AFN members want emergency congress over ‘missing’ IAAF $150,000 grant



Some board members of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) are pushing for an emergency congress following the alleged disappearance of $150,000 grant, which world athletics ruling body (IAAF) sent to the federation.

The push for a congress came yesterday, just as one of the board members, Brown Ebewele faulted the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, who was said to have set up a committee to probe the circumstances surrounding the missing grant.

IAAF reportedly paid $150, 000 to AFN, instead of $15,000, which is its annual grant to member federations for the year 2017. According to reports, the IAAF accountants later discovered the error and subsequently asked AFN to refund the excess payment. But nobody in the federation seems to know anything about the money.

Ebewele, a former sports commissioner in Edo State, told The Guardian yesterday that there was urgent need for the ‘full house’ of AFN to hold an emergency congress so that members will know what exactly transpired between the AFN Secretary General and IAAF.

“We are hearing different stories concerning this $150,000 grant, and I have called many of the board members who are of the opinion that there is need for an emergency congress. We can’t wait for the president (Ibrahim Shehu Gusau) to call for a congress because he may have played dirty as far as this scandal is concerned,” he stated.

Speaking further, Ebewele faulted the sports minister, Solomon Dalung, who was said to have set up a committee to look into the missing $150,000 grant. “It is not the duty of the sports minister to probe whatever happens within the athletics family. It is the responsibility of AFN board to do so. The secretary was transferred from AFN shortly after we came on board, but this same sports minister brought him back. Don’t be surprised to hear at the end of the day that some officials of the sports ministry are involved in sharing the money,” Ebewele stated.

There are insinuations in some quarters that the recipient of the money might have used his private account to collect the money from IAAF when the sports minster dissolved the board of various sports federations last year.Majority of the board members said they have found it difficult to communicate with the secretary since the news of the missing IAAF grant broke out.

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