The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has condemned the failure of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) to give credible explanation and to return the excess of $135,000 dollars which the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) mistakenly remitted to it.
As earlier reported by Sports Village Square and many Nigerian news outlets, the IAAF had in 2017, while trying to disburse the $15,000 dollars to each of its affiliated federations, erroneously over paid Nigeria with an additional digit, making the money to be $150,000.
Soon after the discovery of the mistake, IAAF wrote to AFN to return the excess, to no avail, even reminders and discussions with the sports authorities in the country have not yielded any result.
It is regrettable that the Federation and indeed the Ministry of Sports have for over two years failed to find out how the money developed wings from the accounts of the AFN to the extent that the IAAF has threatened sanctions on Nigeria.
In fact, Nigeria is set to be banned from the forthcoming All Africa Games in Morocco this year.
In a press release signed by its deputy general secretary, Babatunde Raji, SWAN states:
“We are even more worried because when the issue broke out, the House of Representatives Committee on Sports said it was going to investigate the matter, but till date nothing has been heard.
“Perhaps, if the lawmakers had diligently carried out their investigation, the country would have been saved this international embarrassment.
“SWAN, therefore calls on the Federal Government, in line with its zero tolerance for corruption, to immediately initiate a thorough investigation into how we arrived at this inglorious situation and bring everybody involved to book.
“SWAN insists that Nigerian athletes must not suffer for the brazen misdemeanor of some personnel at both the AFN and the Sports Ministry.”