Ex-AFN Scribe, Akawu Docked For Diverting N63m IAAF Fund

Posted on February 7, 2022
Amaechi Akawu

OKAFOR MOSES CHINEDU

A former Secretary-General of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Amaechi Akawu, has been arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for alleged complicity in a $150,000 (about N63m) fraud.

ICPC said Akawo was docked on Friday before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court 5 in Abuja over allegations of corruption bordering on money laundering and fraudulent diversion of public funds.

A statement from the ICPC at the weekend says the anti-graft body had filed 10 charges against Akawu in which he was accused of diverting monies released by the International Association of Athletics Federation for the successful hosting of the CAA Grand Prix Competition in Delta State, popularly known as 2017 Warri Relay Competition.

The offence was allegedly committed in July and August 2017, when Akawu, on multiple occasions, fraudulently diverted funds from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development into personal use.

According to Azuka Ogugua, the ICPC spokesperson, the defendants used various fronts to receive the money.

 “His actions violated sections 1 (a) and 16 (1) (d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 and are punishable under relevant Sections of the same Act.

“Akawo entered a not guilty plea when the charge was read to him. His counsel, Emmanuel Aghedo, moved his application, praying the court to grant him bail on liberal terms.

“Counsel to ICPC, Mashkur Salisu, who did not object to the bail application, however, urged the court to grant him bail on stringent terms that will ensure he stands trial.”

Justice Ekwo while ruling on the bail application, admitted Akawu, a former Secretary-General of Nigeria Judo Federation (NJF) to bail in the sum of N15 million, with one surety in like sum.

The judge ordered that the surety must have landed property within the Federal Capital Territory and the accused must deposit his international passport with the court registry.

The matter was adjourned till May 16, 17, and 18, 2022 for hearing.

P.M. EXPRESS reports that Akawu was only recently was promoted as the Special Assistant (Technical) to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.

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