The interim President of the Nigeria Boxing Federation, Azania Omo-Agege has challenged his purported suspension by the African Boxing Confederation, (AFBC), declaring that it totally fall short of their constitution.
Reacting to the purported suspension in a strong worded letter written to the Secretary General of the continental body, Omo-Agege also rubbished every allegation of bribery and forgery levelled against him.
Speaking with our correspondent, the confederation first vice President maintained that he had painstakingly highlighted several areas in their constitution the process of suspending a members from the Association.
He stressed further that he is very optimistic that the so called suspension will be lifted so as to allow for the real process of suspending a member to commence should there be any need for it.
Bellow are some of the issue raised by Omo-Agege as contained in the letter to the continental boxing body Secretary General.
“Fair Hearing: The suspension, executed without affording me the basic tenet of a fair hearing, stands in stark contradiction to universally accepted principles of jurisprudence. Even the International Boxing Association (IBA), the esteemed affiliate of the AFBC, ensures that individuals facing disciplinary actions are granted the fundamental right to present their defense. The Boxing Independent Integrity Unit (BIIU) Tribunal of the IBA meticulously adheres to due process, initiating formal disciplinary proceedings, notifying the accused, and providing a reasonable timeframe for response before arriving at any decisions.
The AFBC, an affiliate of IBA, should have adhered to similar standards. Disappointingly, no such disciplinary proceedings were initiated against me, and I was not formally informed of the allegations or given an opportunity to respond. It is perplexing that the AFBC chose to label me an ‘accused person’ without even opening a disciplinary proceeding. This deviation from established sports practices raises questions about the commitment of the AFBC to principles of fairness and transparency.
Procedural Irregularities: The decision to impose a provisional suspension and a substantial fine, subject to confirmation by the AFBC Disciplinary Committee/Disciplinary Commission, is riddled with procedural irregularities.
As stipulated in Article 34.1 of the AFBC Constitution, standing committees, particularly the Ethics Committee, are mandated to “investigate any matters within the Confederation which it perceives may infringe the Ethical Principles…and issue the necessary decisions (including impose sanctions) as provided for under the Regulations.” The Disciplinary Committee, as detailed in Article 34.5, is entrusted with “adjudicating on complaints made to it of infringements…and imposing sanctions on those bodies and persons found to have breached such provisions.”
A meticulous examination of these provisions reveals that the responsibility for investigating matters and imposing sanctions squarely rests with the Ethics Committee and the Disciplinary Committee—not the Board of Directors, as indicated in the suspension letter. The decision to suspend me, purportedly taken by the Board of Directors, is inconsistent with the constitutional provisions. The authority to investigate and impose sanctions lies explicitly with the Ethics Committee and the Disciplinary Committee. This deviation from established procedures is a serious procedural flaw and a disregard for the principles enshrined in the AFBC’s governing documents.
Furthermore, Article 25.7 of the AFBC Constitution, which the AFBC purportedly relied upon for my suspension, outlines the criteria for the ineligibility of a Director. However, the decision failed to follow the prescribed procedure as detailed in the same article.
According to Article 25.7, a procedure against the concerned Director should be initiated by the Ethics Committee or the BIIU Nomination/Compliance Unit, and a decision of ineligibility may be appealed before the CAS by the concerned Director. No such procedure was initiated, thereby violating the due process rights guaranteed by the AFBC Constitution.
The decision erroneously attributed the confirmation authority to the AFBC Ethics Committee/Disciplinary Commission, a clear misrepresentation of constitutional provisions. Article 34.1 and Article 34.5 which delineated the roles and responsibilities of the Ethics Committee and the Disciplinary Committee, respectively, left no room for the Board of Directors to make such decisions, subject to confirmation…”
2) Forgery and Falsification: The claim that I forged and falsified documents, including those used for my nomination to the AFBC Board of Directors (BOD) is utterly baseless and without merit. Allow me to present the facts.
According to Article 25.3 of the AFBC Constitution, the Ethics Committee is responsible for vetting all directors. When I contested to be a BOD member, I underwent a thorough vetting process by the Ethics Committee. I was duly cleared to contest the elections, and I eventually won. My nomination form was signed by the then president, now suspended, General Minimah, at his residence in Kwara State, Nigeria. This process was in full compliance with the established procedures and protocols.
The accusations made during the illegal board meeting by General Minimah and the NBF was regarding the forgery of the NBF letterhead, which are baseless. I addressed and dismissed these allegations as groundless. I challenge these claims and request concrete evidence supporting them, as they lack any factual basis.
I am deeply concerned that these allegations may be part of an orchestrated attempt to tarnish my reputation. Over the years, I have built a positive image in Nigeria, Africa, and the global boxing community. It is disheartening to witness a potential misuse of power to punish me for upholding the truth and adhering to the NBF Constitution.
3) Hundred Thousand Dollars Blackmail Allegation: The allegation that I tried to blackmail President Eyassu to facilitate a meeting with the sports minister of Nigeria is with profound respect, laughable. I would like to provide additional clarity on this matter
First, the sports minister has been in office for about six months, and I have never met him before. It is crucial to note that I do not work directly with the sports ministry, as the federation operates independently. Secondly, the idea of needing to pay any amount, let alone a substantial sum, to meet the sports minister is unfounded and surprising. I categorically deny attempting to blackmail President Eyassu for a meeting with the sports minister I have never met in my life. This allegation is baseless and contradicts the principles of integrity and professionalism that I uphold…” the letter read.