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Reps swaddle again in murky sports federation election matter

*As some presidents head to court to stop election

By Olajide Fashikun

House of Representatives’ Committee on Sports, like a swine that will not leave the stye, is swaddling again in the murky waters of the controversial sports federation election.

This time around, they have set up a committee to look into petitions by 11 National Sports Federations on the dissolution of their federations before the end of their alleged tenure.

The federations are Aquatics, Boxing, Cycling, Golf, Hockey, Kick boxing, Kung fu, Rowing, Sailing and Yatching, Scrabble, Shooting and Rugby.

One salient question about the 11 sports federations in question is, except for Scrabble, what has been their cumulative values and contributions to the nation’s global sports success? They are so inconsequential that major stakeholders in the industry do not even know of their existence. Many of them had been used for visa racketeering, fraud and criminal tendencies.

This latest development is part of concerted efforts to ensure that the 13th June date set for the elections is moved. This will raise a new line of confusion. Many of the sports federation presidents

Reps and Sports Ministry staff meet over election issues
Reps and Sports Ministry staff meet over election issues

who want to remain in office had employed all media and it seems the House of Representatives is the soft zone working well for them.

Reliable information revealed to www.gongnews.net after the attempts to stop the election from their various International Federations (IFs) failed woefully, these Presidents have resorted to try the courts where they should before the weekend get a motion exparte already filed in an Abuja court to stop the election.

According to the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Sports, Hon Buka Goni Lawal, told journalists at the National Assembly, the federations had petitioned against the Ministry of Youth and Sports for dissolving the 11 federations before their tenure elapsed.

“These federations wrote a petition stating that their tenure will expire in November and not in May like some other federations. We have no personal interest in any sport and we cannot rule or take sides until we have heard from the Ministry and the Nigeria Olympic Committee. A motion was moved by one of the members based on petitions and complaints from the listed federations.

Hon Buka Goni Lawal did not say who petitioned neither did he made public the petition. Even the grounds upon the petitions were not made public by the Committee that had entertained a similar efforts only weeks ago which failed.

“The second petition is on the performance of the 2016 budget. So many projects of 2016 were not implemented,” Hon. Lawal alleged.”

In his response, the Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung, said it was only fair to be served copies of the petitions before summoning him to appear for defence.

“I have listened to the issues you presented and my response is that it will only be fair for the Ministry to have copies of the petitions written against us because if someone is complaining against you and you don’t even know the complaint against you and you’re invited to respond, you won’t be able to say anything. We have not seen and don’t have copies of the petitions and so it will be difficult for us to respond. I will appeal to the chairman to make copies of these petitions available to us to study and give our response accordingly.”

Barrister Dalung also appealed to the House to avail the ministry a list of projects identified in 2016 that have not been given adequate attention to enable him to do an in-house verification and inform the House Committee on the performance of these projects.

The House Committee adjourned its meeting with the Ministry until Thursday, 8th June, 2017 which will be just three days before the election.

The Committee will be chaired by the Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Sports, Hon Anayo Nnebe. Other members will comprise the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Director of Federations and the Technical Committee of the House of Representatives.

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