Dapo Sotuminu, Lagos
Sportswear manufacturer,PUMA insists it is the official equipment and sportswear sponsors of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) following reports that due process was not followed in the signing of the agreement.
In a letter to Olamide George,the vice president of the AFN and signed by Dr Martin Benda,its General Counsel,PUMA says the sponsoring and licensing agreement was signed on July 24,2019.
The company revealed that Engr Ibrahim Gusau,President of the AFN and Mr Sunday Adeleye,the former Technical Director of the federation signed on behalf of the federation.
PUMA also confirmed it has ”fulfiled its payment obligations towards the AFN until today’.
The company also confirmed Dynamic Sporting Solutions Nigeria Limited,a company owned by Sunday Adeleye who was recalled as the representative of the athletes on the board of the AFN last year was the ‘nominated bank account’ which received the payment made for the AFN as the ‘authorised recipient’.
When contacted,AFN Secretary General,Prince Adisa Beyioku says he is not aware of any contractual agreement between the AFN and PUMA.
‘I am the Chief Administrative and Chief Accounting Officer of the AFN as contained in the AFN constitution (2017 as amended),article 8.7.1 and article 4.4.2 of the 2017 Code of Governance as referenced by the AFN constitution in article 8.7.1. I am not aware there is any contractual agreement between the AFN and PUMA.It was not stated in the hand-over notes submitted by my predecessor,Elijah Ademu who was AFN Secretary General at the time the contract was purportedly signed,’revealed Beyioku who expressed surprise that PUMA could sign a contractual agreement with a World Athletics member federation without the signature of its chief administrative and accounting officer.
‘The AFN constitution (2017 as amended) stated clearly that the Secretary General shall be the custodian of AFN’s records,documents and properties and that he shall be privy to all decisions of the AFN (article 8.7.1 of the constitution and 4.4.3 and 4.4.4 of the 2017 Code of Governance referenced by the AFN constitution (2017 as amended).
‘I was appointed as AFN Secretary General on November 1,2019 in accordance with article 8.7.2 of the AFN constitution (2017 as amended) and 2017 Code of Governance article 4.4.1 as referenced by the AFN constitution and since I resumed as Secretary General,I have not sighted a copy of the agreement the AFN is purported to have signed with PUMA.’
Our correspondent recalled that majority of the board members of the AFN met early this year at the federation’s secretariat in Abuja where it was resolved that Gusau should explain how he committed the AFN to a sponsorship agreement without the knowledge of the board and particularly the Secretary General who should mandatorily be a signatory to the agreement.