We Are Not Aware of Gusau’s Contract with PUMA, Says AFN Scribe

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Adeniyi Adisa Beyioku

Duro Ikhazuagbe

There appears to be a new twist to the equipment and sportswear sponsorship deal PUMA entered into with Nigeria as the Secretary General of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Prince Adisa Beyioku claims ignorance of the agreement.

Going by the AFN constitution, Beyioku is the administrative and chief accounting officer of the federation and should be in the know of such development.

But PUMA is insisting it has a contract with the AFN based on the agreement signed on July 24, 2019 with Ibrahim Shehu Gusau, the suspended president of the federation who was returned to office by an Abuja High Court pronouncement last month.

Martin Benda, PUMA’s General Counsel had in a letter to Vice President of the AFN, Olamide George, stated clearly that the sponsoring and licensing agreement was sealed with Gusau and Mr Sunday Adeleye, the former Technical Director of the federation who signed on behalf of the federation.

PUMA also confirmed that it has “fulfilled all payment obligations towards the sponsorship with AFN to date.”

The company also confirmed Dynamic Sporting Solutions Nigeria Limited, a company owned by Adeleye who was recalled as the representative of the athletes on the board of the AFN last year, was the ‘nominated bank account’ which received the payment made to the AFN as the ‘authorised recipient’.

However, Beyioku insisted he is not aware of any contractual agreement between the AFN and PUMA.

“I am the Administrative and Chief Accounting Officer of the AFN as contained in the AFN constitution (2017 as amended), article 8.7.1 and article 4.4.2 of the 2017 Code of Governance as referenced by the AFN constitution in article 8.7.1. “I am not aware there is any contractual agreement between the AFN and PUMA. It was not stated in the hand-over notes submitted by my predecessor, Elijah Ademu who was AFN Secretary General at the time the contract was purportedly signed,” Beyioku stressed.

He expressed surprise that PUMA could sign a contractual agreement with a World Athletics member federation without the signature of its chief administrative and accounting officer.

“The AFN constitution (2017 as amended) states clearly that the Secretary General shall be the custodian of AFN’s records, documents and properties and that he shall be privy to all decisions of the AFN (article 8.7.1 of the constitution and 4.4.3 and 4.4.4 of the 2017 Code of Governance referenced by the AFN constitution (2017 as amended).

“I was appointed as AFN Secretary General on November 1, 2019 in accordance with article 8.7.2 of the AFN constitution (2017 as amended) and 2017 Code of Governance article 4.4.1 as referenced by the AFN constitution and since I assumed duty as Secretary General, I have not sighted a copy of the agreement the AFN is purported to have signed with PUMA.,” Beyioku further clarified.

In what appears a summersault of his previous stance Gusau has now recognized Beyioku as the substantive secretary general of the AFN.

Gusau, in a sworn affidavit he deposed to support his originating summons against the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (FMYSD) and three others, affirmed Prince Beyioku, the third defendant in the case as the AFN Secretary General.

“The third defendant is a civil servant, a staff of the second defendant and Secretary General of the AFN,” Gusau wrote in the originating summons he swore to on February 6, 2020 at the registry division of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division.

The AFN president had erroneously failed to recognise Prince Beyioku as the AFN Secretary General when he (Beyioku) was posted to the federation as the new chief administrative and accounting officer in accordance with article 8.7.1 of the AFN constitution (2017 as amended) and 2017 Code of Governance as referenced by article 8.7.1 of the AFN constitution.

The AFN president went ahead to appoint one S.Y Pepple as Director General of the federation at an illegal congress to carry out the functions of the Secretary General.

Spokesman of the AFN, Dare Esan, told reporters yesterday that the AFN constitution does not recognise the position of a director general.

“This is becoming interesting. I think World Athletics needs to see how it has been deceived by the president to recognise Pepple who is not recognised by the statute (constitution) governing the administration of track and field in Nigeria,” said Esan who reveals the AFN president presented a new constitution approved at the illegal congress in Awka, Anambra State in December 2019 to World Athletics as the working document of the federation.