From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Solomon Dalung, has threatened to unleash security agents and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the former Presidents of National Sports Federations should they fail to officially hand over all documents and property belonging to the federations in their possession to the newly elected and sworn-in successors.
Dalung, who vowed to prosecute the ex-sports administrators while addressing new presidents of the National Sports Federations at a meeting with the Nigeria Olympic Committee in Abuja on Thursday, directed the new presidents to officially write to their predecessors asking for a formal handover of administration.
According to him; “The newly elected Presidents must write officially to former presidents and request for a formal hand over. Failure to hand over within the provided period will activate the law. If you refuse to handover government property in your custody, you have invited the law to take over.”
The Minister further stressed that no individual or group of people is greater than the constitution or the machinery of government as represented by the Federal Government in this situation.
He decried the operation of secret accounts by some former presidents of these federations which negates the existing government policy of Treasury Single Account (TSA).
“Most of the former presidents are still running the federation’s accounts and still collecting grants. All accounts of federations must be disclosed. There are accounts of federations that are unknown even to the new Presidents but are known to individuals. This is not an allegation. This exists. All those accounts must be made public.
“The Ministry will not hesitate to invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other relevant agencies to deal with federations operating multiple accounts. Nobody has the right to receive any grant from anywhere and keep same in any account. That is a violation of the TSA rule. Once it is established, Mr Magu will be invited to help evaluate the magnitude. If established, you’ll be given a presidential escort to Kuje Prison,” he warned.
The Minister also called on the Nigeria Olympic Committee led by Engineer Habu Gumel to get involved in the official hand over process of former presidents to the present ones to ensure continuity and a smooth transition.