AFN heads to Supreme Court, reaffirms suspension of president

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) is enmeshed in another $150,000 scandal as grant received from World Athletic to assist the Federation in the hosting of the 21st African Championships in Athletics held in Asaba in August 2018,

The turbulence in the handling of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) was hit by another wave after it reaffirmed the suspension of Ibrahim Shehu Gusau as its President.

This step was considered necessary after Gusau secured some relief over his suspension from the Court of Appeal.

However, no sooner had Gusau’s appeals been delivered than the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (FMYSD), under which the Federation operates, lodged its appeal of the decision of the Appeals Court in Gusau’s favour with the Supreme Court of Nigeria. This necessitated the move by the AFN to declare that his suspension stands.

A statement to that effect, signed by Adisa Adeniyi Beyioku, the Secretary General of the AFN read: “The injunction pending appeal lodged by the FMYSD has made unenforceable the reliefs got by Engr Gusau at the Appeal Court until the determination of the case at the apex court.”

Beyioku clarified what specifically caused the need to address the matter officially: “Our attention has been drawn to a news report in a national daily purportedly threatening to drag the organisers of the Making of Champions Grand Prix to court for an imaginary contempt of court.

“The AFN under the leadership of acting President, Olamide George, wishes to state unequivocally that Engr Ibrahim Gusau has been suspended as President of the federation following the appeal filed by the FMYSD at the Supreme Court over the judgement our now suspended President got first at the High Court and later at the Appeal Court.

“The AFN is aware that the reliefs got by Engr Gusau were declarative but this has been restrained by the injunction pending appeal lodged by the FMYSD.

“The AFN also wishes to state that one Sunday Adeleye quoted in the story as the Technical Director of the federation is no longer a member of the board of the AFN after his recall by his constituency, the athletes union in 2019.”

The AFN Secretary General assured athletes and officials who were at the MOC Grand Prix to focus on the competition without allowing rumours distract them from their objectives:

“The MOC Grand Prix holding at the Yaba College of Technology sports ground enjoys the support of the AFN which is partnering the organisers to ensure our athletes get the required competitions to help their preparations for the forthcoming events including the World Relays in Poland in May, the African Athletics Championship in Algeria in June and the Olympic Games in Tokyo in July/August this year,”

On behalf of the Federation, he pledged to the athletes the body’s determination to make more competitions available after the 20th National Sports Festival “Edo 2020.”

He said: “We have held two events so far this year and the ongoing MOC Grand Prix in Lagos has the full support of the federation.

“The AFN said it will not be distracted by threats from disgruntled elements who are hell bent at destabilising the sport which has given Nigeria 13 out of the 25 medals won at the Olympic Games including two gold medals.”

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