AFN Chief Blasts NOC over Illegal Meeting

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A top member of the board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has said that the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) lacks the power to convene a meeting of the board of the federation and revealed some members have threatened to boycott the meeting scheduled for Thursday inside the conference room of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development inside the Federal Secretariat in Abuja.

The letter, dated June 3, 2019 and signed by NOC Secretary General, Olabanji Oladapo made it mandatory for all board members of the AFN to attend the meeting without stating any agenda.

“The NOC does not have the power to convene a meeting of the AFN neither does it also have the power to interfere in the internal affairs of the AFN,” said the AFN board member who pleaded not to be named.

“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, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) who has acknowledged the decision taken by the AFN board on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 asking the President, Hon. Ibrahim Shehu Gusau to step aside following allegations of gross misconduct and misappropriation of funds levelled against him.”

“The IAAF in an email sent to the federation on Friday, May 31, 2019 by Jee Isram, a senior manager in-charge of Governance, Member and International Relations and who is also head of protocol acknowledged the fact that a panel has been set up to investigate the allegations against Hon Gusau,” revealed the top AFN member.

The email reads inter-alia: “Dear Secretary General, We acknowledge the receipt of your email regarding the suspension of the president of your federation. With regard to the contents of your email, we understand that a committee has been set up to investigate the allegations levelled against the president.

“However, for our files, can you please forward to us the convening notice of the AFN board meeting held on 28 May as well as the minutes of that meeting.”

The AFN chief revealed the federation has sent the necessary documents (notice of meeting and minutes) to the IAAF regarding the decision of the AFN board on May 28.

“The IAAF is on top of happenings in the federation. I think the suspended president of the federation is trying to use the NOC to perform an illegality on Thursday by going against the constitution of the federation and international best practice to reinstate Gusau who is yet to clear himself of the allegations levelled against him.

“As far as we are concerned, the IAAF have spoken and until something to the contrary comes from Monaco, Gusau remains suspended,” concludes the influential AFN board member.