The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has invited the Technical and Performance Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Sunday Adeleye, to appear before it today in Abuja.
THISDAY exclusively learnt from ICPC sources last night that the invitation of Adeleye may not be unconnected with the $150,000 which the world athletics body, IAAF wrongly credited to the Nigerian federation account instead of the $20,000 grant.
Just last week, Nigeria’s Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, refunded the excess $130,000 that has become an international embarrassment on the image of the country.
While repaying the money, Dare promised to get to the root of the matter.
But yesterday, the anti-graft agency, summoned Adeleye to appear before it today in connection with the 2017 CAA Grand Prix in Ozoro and the Warri Relays which the AFN leadership claimed to have spent part of the IAAF ‘missing’ money to organise.
In the ICPC letter to AFN with ref Number: ICPC/INV/NGB/T.AF1/103 and signed by acting HOD (Investigation), Prince Hassan Mohammed, Adeleye was asked to come with certified true copies of all expenditures related to the Grand Prix and Warri Relays two years ago to its office.
ICPC insisted that since the investigation was in connection with alleged violation of its Act 2000, there was the need for the AFN technical director to come to their office with either a lawyer or a justice of Peace ((JP).
Before Adeleye’s invitation, the secretary general of the AFN when the money was wrongly credited to the federation, Amaechi Akawo, had similarly been invited by the ICPC.
Spokesperson of ICPC, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, said in Abuja on Monday that the money belonged to the IAAF.
“ICPC had received a petition alleging that he had failed to account for 130, 000 dollars mistakenly paid into the account of AFN in 2017 by IAAF.
“IAAF had in a letter to AFN in March 2017, volunteered to grant 20, 000 dollars to the federation towards the successful hosting of the CAA Grand Prix Competition in Delta State, popularly known as 2017 Warri Relay Competition.
“However, the international body for athletics while fulfilling the pledge, mistakenly paid $150, 000 to AFN in May, 2017, a sum which was far in excess of the $20, 000 grants it had earlier pledged.”
ICPC explained that the IAAF quickly wrote to its Nigerian counterpart two months after the payment admitting the mistake, and promptly requested that the 130, 000 dollar excess be returned forthwith.
Akawo claimed that the entire $130, 000 was spent on hosting the competition that held in July, 2017.
“Details available to the commission (ICPC) have revealed several transactions on the account, which were originated by the Secretary General moments after the payment of the money.
“ICPC found out that Akawu, acting without AFN Board, got several approvals for the release of the money through a series of letters to the then Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung.
“On different occasions, he requested for and got approval for the release of N30.4 million, N4.9 million and $20, 000 all in the month of July, 2017 as expenses for the competition.
“He also requested for N9.5 million in the same period, but N5 million was approved by the then Permanent Secretary,” the commission added.
The ICPC said the suspect had yet to furnish it with proof of the expenditures, telling investigators that he had submitted all documents on how the 130, 000 dollars was spent by AFN to the minister.
It stated that Akawu was detained on Oct. 22 following his arrest and was released on administrative bail the next day.
His release was to enable him to submit some vital documents that were requested by investigators handling the case, according to the statement.
Adeleye who is taking his turn to appear before ICPC investigators was recalled from the last IAAF World Championship in Doha for his alleged poor handling of the disqualification of Divine Oduduru and Blessing Okagbare.
Double Commonwealth Games sprint champion, Okagbare and NCAA champion Oduduru were thrown out of the championship by the IAAF following their failure to appear on the starting block of the 100 metres women and men events respectively.
The duo were erroneously entered for the events by the AFN even when they had made known their intentions to concentrate on the 200m and the relays at the championships.
They were later reinstated on appeal but the distraction caused the duo inabilities to make impact in their area of strength.