The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has set up an independent review committee to take another look at the alleged medal padding at the 21st national Sports Festival held in Asaba, Delta state last December.
This followed complaint that the initial review done following protests from Rivers and Bayelsa was not only haphazardly done but actually had those who should be answering questions as the reviewer.
While Rivers state complained that medals were manufactured for non-existent events and smuggled into the final table, Bayelsa state they were awarded medals, (especially gold) more than it actually won.
The committee which has Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Okaro as Chairman also has a former director in the Sports Ministry, Mrs Hauwa-Kulu, a former Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, Secretary General, Madaki Elias Gora, Lekan Alabi, the Statistician of the Sports Ministry and a representative of the Delta State Sports Commission.
According to a statement from the Sports Ministry and signed by Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, the setting up of the new committee became necessary following the complaints.
”After an initial review was done, the Ministry has decided to take a further step of setting up an independent Committee to immediately do a further review.
‘This process is normal in situations such as this, in order to ascertain whatever the challenges were with the Festival Medal table computation. It is also normal to have them resolved even after the Festival.’
The Committee, according to the press release is expected among other things to:
1. Determine what went wrong with the Medal table computation from the stand point of knowledge and experience of previous festivals
2. Establish the exact and correct Medal table by ridding the table of any double entries and inaccuracies and make recommendations to guide against future occurrence.
The Committee has 7 days to complete its assignment.