Ibrahim Shehu-Gusau, the Chairman of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria’s (AFN) under suspension over the ‘missing’ $135,000 erroneously paid into the body’s account by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), has broken his silence.
Gusau, who was suspended by some AFN board members on account of the incident, has however denied complicit in the missing money saying it preceded his assumption of office.
Instead the embattled AFN boss has pointed accusing finger at the immediate past Youths and Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung just as he called on the police and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to launch a probe into the matter.
He shared an alleged insight into the whole episode.
His word, “The IAAF officials told me office is continuous. There, I was told they (IAAF) sent money for Warri Relay. Yes, IAAF normally sends $20,000 to assist its affiliate federations and they said an excess of $130,000 was remitted into AFN account, and that I should refund it.
“Incidentally, there was a meeting and the former Sports Minister was at the venue. I arranged a meeting between the Minister (Solomon Dalung) and IAAF officials. And there, the Minister concurred and said he would arrange to send the money. The IAAF followed with a letter, which copy is available. And I did a covering memo and sent to the Minister.
“For almost a year, nothing was done, and there was the Asaba Meet in 2018, and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Sports and the then Minister were there and I arranged another meeting, where the Minister (Dalung) directed the Permanent Secretary to take the account number of the IAAF promising that they would pay the money but in bits owing to cash constraints the ministry was facing.
“IAAF kept writing letters reminding the AFN about the money. The last was in Yokohama, Japan, when we went for the World Relays. They said they were monitoring the Nigerian situation, and were sure there would soon be a change of government and urged us to quickly settle it (the money).”