CORRUPTION: Corruption Headlines Challenges Before New Sports Minister
The newly-appointed Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, commenced his official duty on Thursday by attending the 2019 International Youth Day in Abuja.
The renowned media practitioner was appointed to man the sports ministry amidst complaints of corruption, poor funding and crises bedevilling three of its key federations. The federations recently rocked by crises are the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Nigeria Football Federation and the Nigeria Basketball Federation.
The money went missing after it was diverted by unidentified officials till date, though some members of the AFN alleged that sports ministry officials were culpable in the missing money saga. The matter is currently under investigation by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Matters Commission. In football, corruption allegations, electoral crisis and court battles have bedevilled the NFF under Amaju Pinnick’s stewardship.
The NFF crisis emanated from the election that brought in Pinnick into office for a first term, with Chris Giwa also staking claim to the leadership of the country’s football at some point. Ever since, football, which has a large following among Nigerians have been enmeshed in one corrupt case or the other.
In May, Pinnick and four others namely Secretary of the NFF, Sunusi Mohammed; the first vice-president of the federation, Seyi Akinwumi; the second vice-president, Shehu Dikko, and an executive member of the federation, Yusuff Fresh were charged by the Federal Government with an alleged misappropriation of $8,400 said to have been paid by FIFA to the NFF.
The money was said to be paid by FIFA to the NFF as Nigeria’s appearance fee in the group stage of the Brazil 2014 World Cup. The five NFF officials were also accused of “moving dishonestly and intentionally the sum of about N4bn” belonging to the NFF without the consent of the NFF.