Embattled Shehu Ibrahim Gusau, the suspended president of Athletics Federation of Nigeria has admitted the money paid by sportswear and equipment company, PUMA was paid into an account not belonging to the federation.
Gusau also admitted, for the first time in an interview on a Nigerian television network, Africa Independent Television, AIT that money was indeed paid by PUMA for the contractual agreement reached with the AFN in July 2019 to supply kits and equipment to Nigerian athletes.
Gusau claimed the federation does not have any bank account in its name and that monies received from the Federal Government were not controlled by him. ‘The AFN does not have any bank account and I don’t have control over monies received from the Sports Ministry. The monies from the Sports Ministry are paid into private accounts,’ said the former Nigerian lawmaker.
Gusau believes he has not violated Article 3 of the World Athletics Integrity Code of Conduct on integrity standards saying there was no way he could have paid into an account he does not have control over.
PUMA had revealed its agreement with Nigeria in a February 2020 letter signed by its General Counsel, Dr. Martin Brenda, and addressed to Olamide George, acting president of the AFN. The company confirmed that Engr Shehu Ibrahim Gusau and Mr. Sunday Adeleye negotiated and signed the contract papers on behalf of the AFN.
The sportswear and equipment company also revealed ‘that amount payable by PUMA to the Athletic Federation of Nigeria have been duly paid and may be paid by PUMA into the nominated bank account of Dynamic Sporting Solutions Nig, Ltd as the authorised recipient.’
Both Engr Gusau and Mr. Adeleye had in various media reports denied any payment made by PUMA until the former disclosed late last week on national television his reasons for paying the money into the account of a company owned by Mr Adeleye who also negotiated the contract with Engr Gusau.
In a swift reaction, Dare Esan, a co-opted member of the board of the AFN expressed regret over Gusau’s admission.
‘ It is obvious Gusau does not know he has admitted to violating both the AFN and World Athletics Integrity Code of Conduct, especially on conflict of interest.
”This is just a replica of what the Athletics Kenya duo of Joseph Kinyua, treasurer of the federation at the time (now late) and David Okeyo, Secretary-General and Vice President at the time did and were slammed a life ban by World Athletics for diverting funds meant for Athletics Kenya into private accounts. The decision was also affirmed in 2018 by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.