The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it has arrested the Secretary General of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Mr Amaechi Akawu, for allegedly misappropriating 130,000 dollars.
In a statement signed by its spokesperson, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, in Abuja on Monday, the commission said the money belonged to the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).
“ICPC had received a petition alleging that he had failed to account for 130, 000 dollars 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 dollars 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 grants it had earlier pledged.”
ICPC explained that the IAAF quickly wrote to its Nigerian counterpart two months after the payment admitting the mistake, and promptly requested that the 130, 000 dollar excess be returned forthwith.
“AFN is yet to refund the excess fund with Akawu as the Secretary General, claiming that the entire $130, 000 was spent on hosting the competition that 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 Akawu, acting without AFN Board, 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 N30.4 million, N4.9 million and $20, 000 all in the month of July, 2017 as expenses for the competition.
“He also requested for N9.5 million in the same period, but N5 million was approved by the then Permanent Secretary,” the commission added.
The ICPC said the suspect had yet to furnish it with proof of the expenditures, telling investigators that he had submitted all
documents on how the 130, 000 dollars was spent by AFN to the minister.
It stated that Akawu was detained on Oct. 22 following his arrest and was released on administrative bail the next day.
His release was to enable him to submit some vital documents that were requested by investigators handling the case, according to the statement.