EFCC Probes Sports Ministry Over N2.9b AAG, Rio Fund | Independent Newspapers Limited
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EFCC Probes Sports Ministry Over N2.9b AAG, Rio Fund

Posted: Jul 15, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chibuike Chukwu

Lagos – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may have commenced probe of the Sports Ministry over the N2.9 billion released to it last year.
President  Muhammadu Buhari released the said sum was for the country’s participation in the All Africa Games held in Congo Brazzaville last year and the preparation for the Rio Olympics.
While the country successfully took part in the AAG, preparations for the Rio Olympics have been near absent due to lack of funds. When the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, sought for funds to prepare for the Olympics, Buhari, we learnt refused to release funds on the premise that he had made available funds for the preparation for the Rio Games.
Consequently, the country has had to do without preparation for the Games as Team Nigeria failed to take part in several qualifying tournaments. In some cases, athletes have had to sponsor themselves to such qualifying tournaments.
Independent gathered from a very reliable source that following persistent pressure from athletes and sporting federations for fund to prosecute the Games, the Federal Government might have directed the anti-corruption czar to investigate how the money was spent.
“There is intense pressure for the EFCC to probe the money the Federal Government released last year because there are pressures here and there for money for the Olympic Games,” our source said on Thursday.
“In fact, as we talk, we heard that the EFCC have been directed to invite some of the officers, especially those with links to the NSC, for questioning regarding how the money was spent.
“Almost every day, athletes besiege the ministry to make enquiries on the next plan of action regarding Olympic Games and we heard that the presidency is not finding the whole thing funny. It is very pathetic and the minister has exhausted all explanation.
“Remember, he was not here when the money was released and now everything stops at his desk,” said the source, who is in the know based on his designation at the ministry.
The source further hinted that Alhassan Yakmut, who has been redeployed to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs as a director after NSC was reduced to a department in the Sports Ministry, may also be invited for questioning.