The investigative panel set up by Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung to unearth the circumstances surrounding the alleged disappearance of $150,000 grant, which world athletics ruling body (IAAF) sent to the Athletics Federations of Nigeria (AFN) in error, is yet to submit its report one month after, The Guardian has learnt.
Also, the report from a five-man panel set up by Dalung to probe alleged doping rules violation against vice president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Olamide George, is still being awaited about 35 days after.
IAAF erroneously paid $150, 000 to AFN instead of its $15,000 annual grant to member federations for the year 2017. According to reports, the IAAF accountants later discovered the error and subsequently asked AFN to refund the excess amount from the payment. But nobody in the federation knew what became of the money. The minister was said to have promptly set up a committee to look into the missing $150,000 grant, with a promise to bring anyone responsible to book.
An official of the AFN told The Guardian yesterday that the matter might have been swept under the carpet. “In the first place, it was wrong for Dalung to set up a panel on an issue concerning the AFN because the money in question was spent by officials of the sports ministry. The panel was set up over a month ago and Dalung promised that the reports would be out within two weeks. Till now, we have not heard anything. This can only happen in Nigerian sports,” the official stated.
Another AFN official hinted yesterday that a similar panel set up by the sports minister to investigate an alleged doping rules violation against the federation’s vice President, Olamide George, has ‘gone underground.’
“I spoke with Olamide a few hours ago and he confirmed that he did not receive any invitation from the five-man investigative panel, which the minister set up since March 23. Who is fooling who? We made it clear to the minister that he was embarking on a mission impossible because the IAAF won’t listen to him. He just want to get at some people on the board of AFN, but he won’t succeed,” the official stated.
Efforts to speak with the media aide to the sports minister, Nneka Anibeze, yesterday proved abortive.