Athletic Federation Nigeria To Refund Excess Funds

Nigeria May Face Disqualification By IAAF

by Doris Ukaonu

Athletic Federation Nigeria To Refund Excess Funds

Following Nigeria’s decline to return the extra sum of  $134,000 which the International Association of Athletes Federation (IAAF) mistakenly paid into the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) account, the IAAF are likely to have put some structures in place to stop Nigerian athletes from engaging in this year’s African Games in Morocco, the World Athletics Championships in Doha, and also the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo.

In 2017, the IAAF was supposed to pay the sum of $15,000 annual grant to the member federations but instead, it mistakenly paid $150,000 to the AFN. The error was later discovered by the IAAF accountants who demanded a refund from the AFN.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe

The Guardian reported that Amaechi Akawo, former Secretary-General of AFN, was confused about the missing money, and upon reaching out to his superiors the money was nowhere to be found.

A letter was written by the IAAF to the AFN on Tuesday, May 13, 2019, and was handed over to The Guardian's, Jee Isram warning the AFN to return the said amount or else the federation would be sanctioned. The letter reads:

“You were informed on March 14, 2018, by our CEO of a payment made by the IAAF to the bank account of your federation on May 17, 2017. A sum of $150,000 was transferred by the IAAF of which $134,000 was wrongly credited.

“We promptly notified you of this overpayment and followed up several written correspondence, as well as a meeting with you in November 2017 requesting that you reverse the bank transfer for the overpaid amount to no avail.

“On June 28, 2018, you informed us that the ministry of sports was ready to refund 50 percent of that amount and despite several telephone conversations the amount was still not paid.

“While we were in Asaba in August 2018 during the African Senior Championships, we met with the minister of sports and the Permanent Secretary. We discussed the return of the funds to the IAAF and until today we have not heard anything.

“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,”

So far, there hasn't been any formal response from the AFN.