Sports minister, Sunday Dare, has been petitioned over his appointment of ex-athlete Mary Onyali-Omagbemi as a special adviser.
In a copy of the petition obtained by our correspondent on Tuesday, a group, Eagle-Eye Transparency Initiative, urged Dare to reverse Onyali’s appointment.
According to the petition, signed by ETI Director of Public Petition, Mrs Godwin Cecelia, appointing Onyali-Omagbemi violates world athletics bodies’ code of ethics.
ETI raised concern over the ex-athlete’s ban for an alleged taking of ephedrine in 1996, but Onyali-Omagbemi had since denied taking such substance.
The petition read in part, “This is to bring to your notice that your appointment of Onyali-Omagbemi as special adviser to your office is a complete violation of the code of ethics of the World Anti-Doping Agency, World Athletics, Integrity Unit of the World Athletics, Confederation of African Athletes, and paints Nigeria in a bad light before the international sporting community.
“Kindly be informed that Onyali-Omagbemi tested positive to a banned substance known as ephedrine and was banned from all sports-related activities, both locally and internationally.
“Till date, the conviction has not been reversed. Yet, you deemed it necessary to appoint her to a very sensitive position in Nigeria sports administration as your special adviser. Please, be informed that this action of yours highly paints Nigeria in bad light and shows bad example to up-and-coming and current athletes in view of your vision to sanitise sports.
“We hereby request that you relieve her of her post as your special adviser so as to serve as a deterrence to all athletes, to [make them] stay away from violating anti-doping regulations.”