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Appeals committee worked against our sport – Taekwondo folks

*How Ministry ditches sponsor for Ashiru

*Why we will not accept Ashiru

Another letter detailing the scandalous decisions reached by the Abdulrasaq …Elections Appeals/Petitions committee is in our possession. This latest document, this time around in Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF) showed the ugly trend and terrible quality of decisions of that committee.

In a letter written, addressed to the Minister, the stakeholders of the federation told the minister, it was disheartening to learn of the decision of the appeals committee to return Mr George Ashiru as ex- officio over a sponsor committed to make an initial investment of ten million Naira (N10, 000, 000) into the activities of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation.

George Ashiru...why he can't return here -Taekwondo
George Ashiru…why he can’t return here -Taekwondo folks say

The letter was signed by Messrs Chika Chukwumerije and Alhaji Sani Lawal. Both of them are NTF Board members-elect. Lawal is a
World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) international certified coach.

They asserted to the minister that the “original petition, which was submitted and duly received by your office on 7th June 2017 highlighted the stated preference of the electoral guidelines, which places the sponsor over the philanthropist and consequently over the ex-officio.

There was no response to this petition, neither a call for the petitioner to come forward to defend whatever aspects of the petition that needed clarification. This was especially important, since the ex-president wrote a petition after the elections, challenging the process that got him disqualified.

We would again highlight the following points with regards to Mr George Ashiru:

  1. In 2017, while he was President, he was impeached by the Board of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation. The detailed reasons for his impeachment is detailed in the impeachment document submitted with the original petition.
  2. Following the impeachment, the Honourable Minister graciously annulled the impeachment in the interests of peace and specifically asked Mr George Ashiru to take steps to put the house in order, and urged everyone to work together. This meeting was held on the 14th of January 2015 in the office of the then Director General at the National Stadium Abuja.
  3. From that moment until now, Mr George Ashiru, did not call any board meeting to have a discussion with the board. Neither was there any email or text communication with the board with regards to resolving the issue. In doing so, Mr George Ashiru flagrantly disobeyed the directives of the Minister.
  4. Consequences of Mr George Ashiru’s decision to run the Federation as a sole administrator were swift. The
    Mrs. Margaret Elizabeth Binga...popularly elected on 13th June
    Mrs. Margaret Elizabeth Binga…popularly elected on 13th June

    most devastating consequences was the historic failure to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics, causing embarrassment to the nation. Prior to this, the nation had always qualified at least two athletes at every Olympic qualification tournament it participated in since 1992. Mr George Ashiru single-handedly chose the technical coaching crew that took the team for the qualification event of the Rio 2016 Olympics, changing the winning technical coaching crew at the time. That decision, taken without the knowledge of the NTF Technical Chairman (Mr Anthony Anafulu) and the NSC Technical Assistant (Mr Chika Chukwumerije) ensured Nigeria’s historic failure at the time.

  5. Furthermore, the board learnt of the historic failure to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics from the pages of newspapers and on the social media. There was no official communication to the board by the ex-president on the historic failure, neither did he bother to bring everyone together to chart a way forward from the disastrous outing. This is despite the Honourable Minister’s directive that the ex-President should work with the board and put the house in order.
  6. Mr George Ashiru also touted that he is entitled to be the ex-officio since he brought the Korean Championships and LG cup to Nigeria. This misrepresentation could easily have been corrected if the appeals committee had made inquiries over the misrepresentations by Mr George Ashiru.
  7. First, the Korean Ambassador’s Cup was in the fourth edition when Mr George Ashiru came in as President in 2013. How is it possible that Mr George Ashiru is the “architect of a building that existed before he was?” The honest truth is that the Korean Government has worked with all Federations in place and it was the administration before Mr George Ashiru, that facilitated the re-emergence of the Korean Ambassador’s Cup in 2010.

A lot more points could be made as to the unsuitability of Mr George Ashiru as ex-officio. In delivering its unjust and unfair verdict with regards to Mr George Ashiru, the appeals committee delivered a stunning blow to due process and by virtue of this verdict, threw away an investor that would have helped financially stabilise an incoming NTF board in its infancy.

In addition, six of the persons that impeached Mr George Ashiru, are back on the board and got on the board via elections. Mr George Ashiru had the option to come back through elections – via the South West and via Technical. The sponsor option was deliberating floated by the electoral guidelines committee to give Federations a financial footing. The unfair and unjust decision of the appeals committee certainly betrays this objective.

In the interest of fairness, justice and peace, we ask that you use your good office to ensure that the appeals decision is rescinded, as Mr George Ashiru is neither qualified to be ex-officio nor should a sponsor have been sentimentally dropped in his favour the first or second time around. This is the right and fair way.

From our investigations and findings, even if the Ministry imposes Mr George Ashiru on the board, he would still be impeached. Six of the people who impeached him the last time are back on board and it will only require raising the scar of the old wounds. This may set out the federation on an initial war path again.

COMING HOT AND SPICY: Taekwondo has so many troubles bothering on how the ministry is putting up some steps. There is the case of Miss Tayo Popoola that is hanging like the death halo. Details coming tomorrow. Watch out!

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