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2019 IAAF Council Elections: Ogba Out, Gusau Vies For Vice President Slot

2019 IAAF Council Elections: Ogba Out, Gusau Vies For Vice President Slot

Two-time president of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Solomon Ogba is out of Wednesday’s elections into the IAAF Council.

Ogba, who failed four years ago in his bid to become the first Nigerian to be in the IAAF Council when the elections were held in Beijing, China decided to put his hat in the ring four years later and was initially not confirmed for the race.

In a message sent to the AFN by Niels Lindholm, IAAF’s Ethical Compliance officer sometimes in May this year, Ogba was told reasons why he was not cleared at that stage.

“Thank you for your message. We would like to bring your attention to Rule 8.3 of the IAAF Candidacy Rules, which provides that candidate nomination forms can only be submitted for candidates who have been declared eligible by the IAAF Vetting Panel, 2019,” Lindholm wrote.

“At present, this is not yet the case for Chief Ogba and therefore we are not able to acknowledge receipt of this nomination form.

“I remain at your disposal should you wish to discuss the process in more details. The deadline for submitting nomination forms of eligible candidates is June 25.”

There were insinuations then that Ogba could be answering Athletics Integrity Unit, AIU’s questions on the allegation of doping cover-up by his administration in 2010.

However on July 26, the IAAF released the final list of candidates for the election and Ogba’s name was among the about 40 candidates vying for 13 Individual Council Members seats on offer while AFN President, Ibrahim Gusau,whose only claim to track and field was that he was a high jumper and 200m runner while he was in his teenage years was confirmed among the 11
candidates contesting for the four vice-president seats in the IAAF Council.

A few days later, Ogba’s name disappeared from the list with rumours flying that he has been disqualified from contesting in Doha this Wednesday.

The rumour mongers pointed to Rules 8.5 and 8.6 to argue their case. While the eligibility rule 8.5 states that a candidate can still become ineligible after he has successfully submitted his nomination form and before the election, rule 8.6 actually empowers the vetting panel the power to carry out a further assessment of a candidate’s eligibility at any time, if it becomes aware of information that the candidate may no longer be eligible.

IAAF Senior Manager, Communications, Yannis Nikolaou however revealed that Ogba voluntarily withdrew his candidature.

“As I have told you over the phone, Mr Solomon Ogba has withdrawn his candidature for individual IAAF Council member as he will not be able to devote the time needed to attend Council meetings and matters with his ongoing global business commitments,” wrote Nikolau in an email message sent on Tuesday September 10,2019.

Nikolau however confirmed that Gusau is still in the race.

”Mr Ibrahim Shehu Gusau has put himself forward for a different position to Mr Solomon Ogba. Mr Gusau is running for a Vice President position on the IAAF Council,” he wrote.

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