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Para-Powerlifting board impeaches Queen Uboh, picks gold medalist as president

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Nigerian gold medalist at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, Ruel Ishaku, has been elected President of the Nigeria Para-Powerlifting Federation.

Ishaku, who also had a bronze at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games and followed with a gold at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, was unanimously endorsed by the board of the federation over the weekend as a replacement for former President Queen Uboh Idris, whom the board has impeached and banned from all powerlifting activities.

Queen Uboh Idris had been at loggerheads with both the board and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development over her handling of the federation’s programmes and finances, leading to several petitions against her, both to the ministry and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and the setting up of an Investigative and Disciplinary Committee to examine the petitions against her.

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The decision of the board to impeach Queen Uboh followed from her alleged indictment for serial breaches of the National Sports Federations Code of Governance by the five-man Investigative and Disciplinary Committee headed by the immediate past chairman of the Lagos chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Fred Edoreh.

The committee report, submitted to the board last Friday, faulted Queen Uboh for arbitrariness in the organisation of the 2020 Para Powerlifting World Cup and for non-transparency and non-accountability, especially for failing to disclose sponsorship incomes and donations on various programmes of the federation to the board and for allowing the payment of funds accruing to the federation into bank accounts other than that of the federation in contravention of various provisions of the NSFs Code of Governance.

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The board in its resolution pointed out that “ Mrs. Uboh was given opportunities to redress issues at various times by reconciliatory interventions of the present Minister and Permanent Secretary and again by the board when she was invited to defend herself on the allegations against her.

“This would have afforded her opportunity to retrace her steps but she ignored the processes of reconciliation. Hence all the 10 board members unanimously agreed that they can no longer tolerate her as President and part of the board. As a result, a motion was moved for her impeachment which was supported by all, to avoid further embarrassment to the federation.”

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The board also requested her to return all Para-Powerlifting properties in her custody, especially the Wheelchair capacity bus donated by Peak Milk, trophies, Eleiko weights, benches and barbels used during the 2020 World Cup.

The board noted that various hotels and individuals are threatening court action over the non-payment of bills incurred during the World Cup and dissociated itself from such obligations.

Despite interventions and appeals by the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare, the friction between Queen Uboh and the board dragged for several months and got to a boiling point during the World Cup, forcing her to announce her resignation at the closing ceremony but the board rejected the resignation on the ground that it was not properly tendered.

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