Former Nigeria track and field international, Hameed Adio and Olu Sule have protested the decision of the Elections Petition /Appeals Committee to annul some elections into the board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) held on June 13,2017 in Abuja.
Adio, a member of Nigeria’s 4x100m team that ran in the final at the 1980 Moscow Olympics wants an explanation on why his name was removed for that of erstwhile President of AFN, Solomon Ogba when the Elections Petition /Appeals committee did not receive any petition against his membership of the federation.
“I am still at a loss as to why my name was removed because in the committee’s report, only six petitions were received and none was against me,’ stressed Adio.
Athletics observers are flabbergasted by the decision as they felt it amounted to trying to substitute an athlete with another after the start list has been released.
“This will qualify for another Eighth Wonder of the world if indeed Adio’s name was removed for another person after he was one of the duly accredited delegates at the June 13, 2017 elections held in Abuja. This is not legally possible because if there is a re-run election as the committee has ruled for the post of the President, it is only those who participated in the first election whose eligibility were not in question via protests or petitions that will still constitute the electorates,” observed Dare Esan, a sports journalist who has covered several international track and field events including eight out of the 15 IAAF World Championships.
Also bewildered by the annulment of the election of Patrick Onyedum as the elected South East representative on the board of the AFN is Olu Sule, a former Nigeria triple jump champion.
“Why should Patrick be made to pay for the mistake of Imo State,” queried Onyedum who won the election by three votes to one.
‘The electoral committee disqualified Professor Ken Anugweje and Charity Opara-Asonze when both candidates presented letters from Imo State, signed by the same person as the authorised delegate for the state but allowed Opara-Asonze to contest the election where she scored zero,” explained Sule.
”Charity (Opara-Asonze) was not only allowed to cast any vote because of the problem of who the authentic delegate was to vote at the election. The electoral committee even had to bend backwards to put a call through to Imo State Director of Sports but without success and after waiting for over 30 minutes. The committee was left with no choice than to disqualify both delegates. So why should the Appeals Committee reward Imo State with a bye-election and punish Patrick who was cleared to contest the election as both a delegate and a candidate,” Sule queried.
“This is clear injustice and I hope well meaning Nigerians will prevail on the Honourable Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung to ensure justice is done in cases of miscarriage of justice in the decisions reached by the elections petitions/appeals committee.