The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission says it is currently interrogating a former Secretary-General of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Amaechi Akawo, for allegedly misappropriating $130,000.
ICPC’s spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, disclosed in a statement in Abuja on Monday that the money in question belonged to the International Association of Athletics Federation.
“ICPC had received a petition alleging that Akawo had failed to account for $130,000 mistakenly paid into the account of AFN in 2017 by IAAF.
“IAAF had, in a letter to AFN in March 2017, volunteered to grant $20,000 to the federation towards the successful hosting of the CAA Grand Prix Competition in Delta State, popularly known as 2017 Warri Relay Competition.
“However, the international body for athletics, while fulfilling the pledge, mistakenly paid $150,000 to AFN in May 2017, a sum which was far in excess of the $20,000 grant it had earlier pledged.”
ICPC explained that the IAAF quickly wrote to its Nigerian affiliate two months after the payment, admitting the mistake, and promptly requested that the $130,000 excess be returned forthwith.
“AFN is yet to refund the excess fund, with Akawo as the Secretary-General claiming that the entire $130,000 was spent on hosting the competition held in July 2017.
“Details available to the Commission have revealed several transactions on the account, which were originated by the Secretary-General moments after the payment of the money.
“ICPC found out that Akawo, acting without the AFN Board, which was non-existent at that moment, got several approvals for the release of the money through a series of letters to the then Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung.
“On different occasions, he requested for and got approval for the release of N30.4m, N4.9m and $20,000 all in the month of July 2017 as expenses for the competition.
“He also requested for N9.5m in the same period, but N5m was approved by the then Permanent Secretary,” ICPC added.
The ICPC said the suspect had yet to furnish it with proof of the expenditure, telling investigators that he had submitted all documents on how the $130,000 was spent by AFN to the minister.
It stated that Akawo was detained on Tuesday following his arrest and was released on administrative bail the next day.
His release was to enable him submit some vital documents that were requested by investigators handling the case, according to the statement.