Some stakeholders in the Nigerian sports sector have petitioned the leadership of the National Assembly accusing the caretaker chairman of the Nigerian Badminton Federation, Mr Francis Orbih, of mismanagement of funds including a N190 million donation by the Rivers state government.
This is coming just less than three weeks to the September 30 National Sports Federation Elections.
Orbih, who is also the immediate past president of the BFN is alleged to have mismanaged funds of the Federation as there was “No transparency and accountability for over 4 years of his rule over BFN”
The allegations are contained in a petition addressed to the minister of sports and youth development, Mr Sunday Dare and copied to the Senate and House of Representatives committees on sports and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) respectively.
Part of the petition signed by Mr Kenneth Aguine, a former Badminton international on behalf of the Concerned Badminton Stakeholders in Nigeria reads: “All monies released by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (FMOY&SD) and other corporate sponsors were not brought to the knowledge of the Board for deliberations and approval as required and clearly stated in the “National Sports Federations Code of Governance 2017” issued by the same Ministry to guide the administrative and financial operations of the Federations.”
“Section 4.6.5 is expected to provide all financial statement of income and expenditure to the Board through the Secretary but unfortunately, throughout the over 4 years of Mr Orbih’s tenure, the Board was in the dark of what transpired financially between the former President and the Ministry of Youth and Sports as well as the Rivers State Government in the Sponsorships of Badminton competitions”, the petition reads.
“How much did Rivers State Government release to the Federation for the Africa Senior Badminton Championship, 2019 in Port Harcourt and expenditure details including due process application?
“Speculations have it that the Rivers State Government released N190m to the Federation, which the former President himself admitted in one of the Board meetings without stating expenditure details as demanded by most Board members.
“Records available through the transparency portal of the Accountant-General’s office indicate that the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development released N10m to the Federation on 24th April 2019 for the Africa Senior Badminton Championship in Port Harcourt and the President instructed the money to be withdrawn in cash for unspecified expenditure without knowledge of the Board.
“The same records indicate that the Board was also given N19m on the 20th March 2020 at the inception of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria as part payment for the participation of BFN in the qualifying tournaments in Finland, Poland and Egypt for Tokyo 2020.
“Releases to BFN were also noticed from the same source running into millions of Naira for Italian Inter-Badminton, Millan, Italy and Badminton championship in Egypt and Algeria.
“We call on the former President (Mr Francis Orbih) to account for his former stewardship by rendering accounts in the following areas;
“How much did the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports release to the BFN for the entire 4 years of his Presidency and how much of it came to the knowledge of the Board and expenditure details.
“How much did the Federation receive as competition grants/bonuses from Badminton Confederation of Africa (BCA) and Badminton World Federation (BWF) in his 4-year tenure and expenditure details”, the petitioners demand.