Nigeria: AFN - We Have Not Amended 2017 Constitution

14 August 2020

A member of the board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Rosa Collins, has said that the 2017 constitution of the federation remains the working document guiding the activities of its officials and stakeholders.

Collins, a former African triple jump record holder said yesterday that the clarification becomes necessary following reports that the constitution was amended at the AFN Congress in Awka, Anambra State last December.

"Engr Ibrahim Gusau wrote in a letter dated August 7, 2020 and addressed to chairmen of state associations that the AFN constitution was amended in Awka and that it is that amended constitution that is now the working document of the federation.This is far from th truth ,' said Collins.

"To start with, there was no AFN Congress in Awka. The AFN constitution (2017) is clear on how a Congress can be convened and the charade in Awka did not comply with article 6.1.4 of the federation's constitution which stipulates a 60-day notice must be given before a congress can be convened,' said the 1995 African Games triple jump champion.

"And article 6.1.5 of the same constitution goes further to state when all documents relating to the congress should be sent.It says all the documents related to the congress shall be sent to the Secretariat of each member association at least 30 days prior to the congress," the four-time Nigeria triple jump queen said and further revealed that the notice for the congress was issued on November 5, 2019, meaning it was just in 29 days to the date of the purported congress in Awka.

"Let us, for the sake of argument even assume the Congress was legally convened, was the procedure for amending the constitution followed? The answer is simple: it was not,' she explained and revealed that articles 10.1.2 and 10.1.3 of the AFN constitution (2017) state the procedure to follow if the constitution is to be amended.

"For the avoidance of doubt, article 10.1.2 states that the proposal to amend the constitution must be sent to the AFN Secretary General at least six months to the date of the Congress where the amendment has been scheduled to take place.

"And article 10.1.3 says all proposals as well as recommendations of the AFN board related to such proposals shall be sent to member state association by the Secretary General at least three months prior to the congress. The question to ask Gusau is: was there a proposal to amend the constitution? If he says there is, then he should show proof that it was sent by the AFN Secretary General to member state associations on or before September 4, 2019, that is not later than three months to the date of the Congress where the amendment has been scheduled to hold', said Collins.

The AFN board member is bewildered by Gusau's penchant for circumventing the constitution to achieve personal goals.

"Perhaps Engr Gusau has forgotten that the AFN is governed by its constitution and no one, not even its President and/or the Secretary General can, at their whims and caprices effect any change without following the procedure laid out in the constitution.

"From records at the Secretariat of the AFN in Abuja, communication between the AFN and member state associations have always been by email. If Gusau says the procedure was followed, he should send evidence of the correspondence between the Secretary General of AFN and member state associations.

"He should also show evidence when the so-called amended constitution was sent to member state associations as only he seems to have a copy of the illegal constitution," Collins concluded.

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