Bribery allegation shocks Sports Appeals Committee
The President of Nigeria Weightlifting Federation, Mohammed Yahaya has advised members of the Appeals Committee (set up by the Sports Ministry to consider and decide on petitions arising from the just concluded sports federations’ polls) to shun people, whose intention is to bribe their way into the federation.
Yahaya, a former vice president of the weightlifting federation was declared winner during the polls in Abuja on June 13, with 28 votes against his opponent’s 22 votes.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday from Saudi Arabia, where he is observing Umrah, Yahaya alleged that he had information that a particular candidate (name withheld) was going about with ‘huge sums of money’ to induce some members of the Appeal Committee so as to get their favour.
There was another allegation, this time, from one of the candidates, who was disqualified in the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) election that a particular Director of Sports in the South East collected money from two different candidates and endorsed both aspirants for the same position.
However, a member of the Appeals Committee, Emmanuel Zira waved aside the allegation yesterday, describing it as untrue.
The seven-member electoral appeals committee is chaired by the Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, AbdulRazak Salau, with a representative of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Aminu Idris; Director at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Maharaja Mahmoud; Chairman of States’ Directors of Sports Forum, Tunde Kazeem and the Legal Adviser of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, Carol Ojukwu, as the Secretary.
Zira said the Appeals Committee is made up of men of integrity and assured that they had treated all the cases based on merit.
“Members of this committee are men of integrity,” Zira said. “The Sports Minister has made it clear to us to do our possible best to give justice to everyone concerned. He told us not to disqualify anybody unless if such person is involved in drug scandal that is well proven by the IOC or the international federation governing that particular sport. We are not here for the rich people, but to give justice to all, including the under privileged. This is not the kind of allegation we need at this moment. We will round up soon after the sallah holiday.”
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