The President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Ibrahim Gusau has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), to carry out a comprehensive investigation over the $150,000 grants erroneously paid to the country in 2017 by the International Association of Athletics Federations, IAAF,
Gusau made the called while speaking to newsmen in Abuja, he however condemned in totality the alleged conspiracies by some officials of the Ministry of Youth and Sports to blame him for the refusal to return the $130,000 to the Athletics world governing body.
“I am pleased to present myself for proper investigation by inviting all the investigative organizations in Nigeria, be it the Police, ICPC, EFCC, to investigate AFN and the ministry to confirm if I am have been found wanting in this issue,” he said.
“My name has been battered, TV stations, Radio stations carrying my name, but as I said to you I have my evidence. I don’t approve any payment, I don’t approve any schedule. The two people in charge of the account in the Federation are people from the sports ministry and of course, you know their loyalty is to the ministry,”.
And reacting specifically to the allegation by the former minister of Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung that N39 million from the IAAF money was released to him, Gusau explained how and whom the money was released to“August 1st to August 5th, and we had about 86 Athletes going to compete for Nigeria and I almost had a demonstration on my hand for those that were in Asaba knew the Nigerian athletes at a point almost abstain from competing for Nigeria.
“Two things came up, 1- their kits, 2- their allowances. These issues came up and I have documents where the Permanent Secretary confirmed that he held a discussion with the Technical Director and the SG and they agreed on an amount of thirty million Naira for the kits of 86 Athletes plus officials. That is thirty million Naira, right?.
“Now remaining the nine million Naira. allowances for 86 athletes and officials, which we had to now plead with the athletes again, begging them that it will be a very big embarrassment, and do not forget there was a big embarrassment on the arrival of athletes at the airport.
“We were able to go out of that embarrassment. The next level was the issue of allowances. So, the nine million Naira was only able to pay fifty per cent of their allowances, and the remaining fifty per cent, till today I have been writing and writing that athletes have been asking for the balances of fifty per cent. I can confirm to you, for those that know and for the benefit of those that do not know me and with all humility, thirty million Naira is nothing to Ibrahim. My integrity is better than that money being discussed.
“I have been a sports sponsor and activist for a very long time, about two decades and a half. And I felt I will bring value, I will bring resources and I think I have archived that. Because if it is only at one event that they are claiming that they gave thirty-nine million Naira, i have events that were held, more than fifty events. At some point, I went to Ghana and I asked for funding to go to Ghana for the ECOWAS Junior, no one listened to me. I had to ferry those athletes in a bus. And we went and Nigeria became the winners of ECOWAS with about 17 gold medals. So also in Abidjan and for some of you that are aware, I called Lagos and I got a bus, I called Delta State and I got a bus. From fueling to feeding to transportation to payments of others I found ways of handling that work. We presented about 92 athletes.