Appeals committee nullifies AFN, weightlifting, other elections

Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor and other Nigerian athletes at the 2016 Rio Olympics Games. They are looking forward to a united AFN as they prepare for the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championship in London

They Did A Thorough Job, Says Ebewele

The appeals committee set up by the sports ministry to look into various protests arising from the June 13 sports federations polls has nullified elections in some of the federations and called for fresh ones.

Among the federations affected was the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), where the committee sacked Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau, who was elected AFN president on June 13.

The Abulrasaq Salau-led appeals committee, which received 21 petitions from 11 sports federations, also nullified election into the weightlifting federation and called for fresh one.

In the case of the AFN, the committee threw away appeal lodged by Henry Amike’s solicitors on the ground that the petition was not valid, but upheld that of former Technical Director of the AFN, Brown Ebewele, saying that there was no justification for his disqualification. Ebewele was reinstated as the representative of coaches/technical association to the AFN board.

In the same way, the committee upheld the petition by Charles Musa Yayock, saying that he was wrongly disqualified, and therefore ordered a bye-election in the North West Zone. “In consequence, therefore, Alhaji Gusau’s election as AFN president is hereby nullified. The committee directs a fresh election at both the zonal and National levels.

The committee also affirmed that Rosa Collins was the duly elected representative of NAWIS on the board of AFN. Former international, Charity Opara Asonze, also smiled last, as the committee upheld her appeal, nullified the zonal election and ordered a bye-election for the South East zone.

In weightlifting, the committee upheld the protest by Tony Okowa and nullified the election of Mohammed Yahaya and ordered for fresh election for the positions of vice president and president.

Other federations affected include gymnastic, where the committee nullified all the elections conducted both at the zonal, vice presidential and presidential levels.

The committee said that to rewrite the wrongs, which were inadvertently done during the elections, the report of the FEAD department was discussed extensively, adding that some persons affected be reinstated accordingly:

Chief Solomon Ogba was returned as AFN philanthropist/sponsor/ex-officio, Dele Oguntokun as Dart Federation coaches/technical representative, Sulley Gwargwarwa as Dart Federation philanthropist/sponsor/ex-officio and Prof. Morankiyo Babatunde as Volleyball Federation philanthropist/sponsor/ex-officio.

However, Ebewele has commended the appeals committee for a job well done. “I think they did a thorough job,” he said yesterday in a chat with The Guardian.

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