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AFN rejects NOC’s panel, insists on probe of suspended president

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A board member of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Brown Ebewele has said that the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) lacks the power to set up a committee to look into a perceived crisis in the federation.

The NOC on Wednesday at its board meeting in Abuja said it had set up a four-man investigative panel to mediate in the crisis rocking the AFN.

“The NOC does not have the power to interfere in the internal affairs of the AFN,’” said Ebewele, who was once the technical committee chairman of the federation.

“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, World Athletics (formerly the International Association of Athletics Federations), which is aware of developments in the federation,” added Ebewele who queried NOC’s motive behind the investigative panel.

“We have set up a fact finding panel to look into the infractions committed by the suspended president of the federation, Shehu Ibrahim Gusau and there is no going back,” Ebewele said.

He recalled a similar ploy employed by the NOC in June this year, adding, “the NOC deceived us with a reconciliatory meeting where an agreement was reached inter-alia that the committees of the board should be reconstituted forthwith; decisions of the board should at all times be approved as specified in the constitution of the AFN and that due process should be followed in the administration and management of resources of the board.

“But what did we get? Gusau flouted all the agreements and the sixth and final agreement says sanctions as provided in the constitution of the AFN shall be invoked in the event of a breach of the resolutions. Gusau has breached all the resolutions and the board has taken appropriate steps in line with the AFN constitution.”

Ebewele revealed that the June agreement was signed by all 10 board members, who attended the meeting and the NOC president, Habu Gumel and Mr. Olusade Adesola, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development’s Permanent Secretary.


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