The Nigerian Athletics Federation (AFN) has been given two weeks to return an overpayment of $134,000 (£104,000/€120,000) to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) or risk being sanctioned by the worldwide governing body.
That could put at risk Nigeria’s participation in this year’s African Games in Morocco, IAAF World Championships in Doha and perhaps next year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The IAAF mistakenly paid $150,000 (£117,000/€134,000) into the AFN account two years ago – the amount due should have been an annual grant to member federations of $15,000 (£11,700/€13,400).
With the Sports minister,Solomon Dalung expected to leave office sometimes next week when President Muhammadu Buhari dissolves the Federal Executive Council and the seeming inability of Ibrahim Gusau, the sitting AFN president whose board knew nothing about the money to get the overpaid amount returned, the IAAF, in a letter dated May 12, 2019 have now
given the AFN a deadline to refund the money or face severe consequences.
”We understand that the Minister of Sports will be stepping down soon and it is imperative that you arrange for the return of the full amount within two weeks, at the latest. Failure to receive the funds back within that period, we will have no alternative than to apply appropriate sanctions against your federation,” wrote Jee Isram, Senior Manager, Governance, Member & International Relations Department at the IAAF in the letter.
The IAAF in the letter, wrote a detailed account of efforts the IAAF have made for almost two years to get the AFN return the $130,000 paid in excess to the Nigerian federation.
”You were informed on 14 March 2018 by our CEO of a payment made by the IAAF to the bank account of your federation on 17 May, 2017. A sum of $150,000 was transferred by the IAAF of which $130,000 were wrongfully credited. We promptly notified you of this overpayment and followed up with several written correspondences as well as a meeting with you in November 2017, requesting that you reverse the bank transfer for the overpaid amount,’ he wrote in the letter and recounted the IAAF’s meeting with Dalung in August 2018 in Asaba, Delta state on the occasion of the African Senior Athletics Championships after he failed to fulfil the promise he made on June 28, 2018 to refund 50% of the money.