By Peter Ejiofor
Lagos – The Ministry of Youth and Sports has directed ex-sports federation officials who were still in possession of their body’s property or documents to hand them over to the newly elected and sworn-in officials.
The Minister, Solomon Dalung, who gave the advice on Friday in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Nneka Ikem Anibeze, said that failure to comply might attract prosecution.
The statement said the minister gave the directive while addressing Presidents of the National Sports Federations at a meeting with the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) on Thursday in Abuja.
“All former Presidents of National Sports Federations have been directed to officially hand over all documents and property in their possession belonging to the federations to the newly elected and sworn-in presidents or face prosecution by relevant government agencies.
“For documentation purposes, Dalung directed the new presidents to write officially to their predecessors asking for a formal handover of administration.
“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,’’ it said.
The statement said that no individual or group of people was greater than the constitution or the machinery of government as represented by the Federal Government in the situation.
It decried the operation of secret accounts by some former presidents of these federations which negated 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 the 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,’’ the statement said.
It said the minister also called on the NOC led by 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.