The board of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), has suspended its president, Ibrahim Gusau.
The crisis rocking the federation took a new turn on Tuesday, when a seven-man board unanimously took the decision to suspend Gusau.
The board approved the decision during a meeting in Abuja, in the wake of the several allegations of gross misconduct, abuse of power and mismanagement of funds levelled against him.
Olumide George, acting president of the federation, while addressing journalists after the meeting, said that a five-man investigative panel has been set up to look into the allegations against Gusau.
He accused Gusau of signing a Puma deal on behalf of the federation without formal documentation and the prior knowledge of its members.
He said:“The board, in a unanimous decision of members present resolved that the President should step aside for an investigation to be conducted over his infractions and the vice president will act in his absence,” George said with respect to the decision reached by the 7-man board.
“The board expressed its dismay at the flagrant violation of the Federation’s constitution by its president, Engr. Ibrahim Shehu Gusau who called an annual congress of the AFN in utter disregard of the provision of the constitution 6.1.4. Which stipulates a 60-day notice must be given before an annual congress of the federation can be convened.
“The Board also noted the violation of the AFN Constitution by the President who usurped the powers and functions of the Secretary General by changing the password of the AFN email thereby denying since April 2019 the Secretary General the opportunity to perform his lawful duties, especially in the area of communicating with World Athletics.
“The board noted Section 8.7. of the constitution which made the Secretary General inter alia the custodian of the AFN documents, records and properties.
“The board noted the agreement the President entered into with sport swear manufacturer, PUMA without formal documentation. The president signed the deal without the knowledge and approval of the Board and the knowledge and signature of the Secretary General, the custodian of the Federation’s documents, records and properties.
“The board frowned at the President’s penchant for taking decisions unilaterally without the board’s approval.
“The board also frowned at the President’s refusal to either pay athletes, Coaches and other officials’ allowances or not pay in full at major International competitions.
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“The Board noted that the young athletes who attended the African Youth and Junior Championships in Abidjan in April, 2019 are yet to be paid. Athletes who also attended the IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, Japan in May 2019 have not also been paid while those who attended the IAAF World Championships in Doha have not been paid in full. Despite the funds released for these competitions by the Government.
“The board also frowned at the President’s unilateral decision to Viament funds meant for the payment of allowances for the junior athletes to Abidjan to prosecute the IAAF World Relays, a competition World Athletics paid for half of Team Nigeria to the event.
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“The board also resolved to set up a five man committee to investigate the infractions and report back to the board at its next Board meeting.”
Brown Ebewele and Okon Gabriel were also appointed as technical and performance directors of the AFN.