IAAF Confirms Receipt Of Missing $130,000 From Nigeria

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has confirmed that Nigeria has completely refunded a payment it mistakenly received from the world athletics body, bringing to an end the drawn-out sordid affair which brought disrepute to the country and sparked a crisis at the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).

Sports website insidethegames.biz quoted a spokesperson for the IAAF as confirming receipt of $65,000 which remained outstanding.

The confirmation from the IAAF follows the claim by the Minister of Sports Sunday Dare last month that he had approved the refund to the IAAF. Dare revealed in a post on Twitter in October that he had sent the remaining half of the money, but the IAAF only confirmed it had landed in its bank account this week.

Dare also confirmed that his predecessor Solomon Dalung had paid off the first tranch of $65,000 to the IAAF.

The entire saga was occasioned by an erroneous payment of $150,000 made by the IAAF to the AFN in 2017 instead of the annual grant of $15,000 it gives to Member Federations. An additional $5,000 was allowed the AFN to meet certain obligations.

Upon receipt of the funds, the AFN failed to notify the IAAF of the overpayment nor return the balance of $130,000 to the world athletics governing body.

The remaining balance proved a bone of contention between the IAAF and authorities in Nigeria, who had made several promises to repay it.

Former Sports Minister Solomon Dalung eventually paid half of the outstanding amount in May, shortly after the IAAF warned Nigeria would incur sanctions if it was not returned in full.

The missing funds caused a huge scandal for the AFN and led to the arrest of secretary-general Amaechi Akawu by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) last week on suspicion of misappropriation of the $130,000.