Sports ministry disowns ‘fake’ director general as AFN crisis gets messier
Those hoping to witness peace in the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) may have to wait a little longer, as the emergence of one Mr. Pepple S.Y., who claims to be the Director-General of the Federation, is causing more ripples within the sports family.
An Abuja High court had on Tuesday last week delivered judgment reinstating Ibrahim Gusau as the president of AFN. While stakeholders were waiting for the outcome of an appeal already filed by the Olamide George-led AFN board, a new twist cropped up yesterday with one Mr. Pepple S.Y. claiming to be the director-general of AFN.
“This is really strange to us because there is only one Director-General in the Ministry of Youths and Sports,” one of the board members in the Olamide George-led federation told The Guardian in a telephone chat yesterday. “There is no nomenclature as the Director-General of any of the sports federations, including the AFN. What we have in AFN is the Secretary-General and Prince Adisa A. Beyioku occupies the position. Beyioku was seconded to AFN by the Sports Ministry in accordance with the National Sports Federation Code of Governance 2017, and Athletics Federation of Nigeria Constitution 2017. We don’t know who Mr. Pepple S.Y. is, and his mission in Nigerian sports,” he stated.
The Guardian learnt yesterday that the Olamide George-led AFN board went to court on Monday to get a stay of execution, while an appeal was filed yesterday challenging Gusau’s reinstatement.
Meanwhile, the sports ministry yesterday described as ‘fraudulent’ the claim by Mr. Pepple S.Y. that he is the new Director-General of AFN.
A letter made available to The Guardian entitled ‘Disclaimer of Mr. Pepple S.Y. As Director General (AFN), said: “Mr. Pepple S.Y. who is laying a fraudulent claim to be the Director-General of AFN was never second to the AFN by the Ministry as required by law.
The letter signed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youths and Sports, Mr. Gabriel Aduda further stated: “This is to bring to the notice of the sporting public, MDAs and law enforcement agencies the impersonation of the Office of the Secretary-General of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) by one Mr. Pepple S.Y. who claims to be the Director-General of the Federation.
“Nigeria has 38 National Sporting Federations under the supervision of the Ministry established under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and each Federation is run by its elected Board Members in accordance with its Constitutions without interference from the Ministry. In each National Sports Federation, the President is the head of the Federation and presides over its meetings and oversees the implementation of the policies and the directives of the Board.
“The Secretary-General is the Chief Administrative and Chief Accounting Officer of the National Sports Federations. There is no nomenclature as the Director-General of any of the National Sports Federations.
“Mr. Pepple S.Y. who is laying a fraudulent claim to be the Director-General of AFN was never seconded to the AFN by the Ministry as required by law. He has neither worked in any National Sports Federation nor seconded as a Secretary-General. He is hereby declared person non grata by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and unrecognized by the AFN constitution and code of governance of Nigerian Sporting Federations. Anybody doing business with him is doing so at his/her own risk.”