The governing body of the International Federation of Taekwondo, World Taekwondo, has recommended that the technical director of the Nigerian Taekwondo Federation, Chika Chukwumerije, enroll in professional training that would ensure the safety of the athletes.
WT also asked the NTF to introduce protective measures that would be endorsed by the World Taekwondo Sports Board for the complaints.
These were revealed in a statement signed by the WT Secretary General, Hoss Rafty, and obtained Thursday by SaharaReporters.
According to the letter addressed to him, dated Wednesday, August 18, 2021, Chukwumerije was given until August 24 to respond or face a tougher determination from the World Taekwondo.
In the WT letter to Chukwumerije, the Secretary General of WT said: “With regard to your case, please note that the WT Integrity Commission has received the complaint file, which was provided to you on June 22, 2021, as well as your reply to the complaint provided on July 6, 2021.
“After examining the complaint and your response, the Committee found the most convincing court decision dated May 31, 2021, ref SUIT NO.FCT/HC/CV/577/15 1 (the “court decision”), and the adhere to pages 20-21 that the facts in question occurred as reported.
“The Committee takes note of your stated intention to appeal the Court’s ruling. However, a) given the uncertain timeframe for such an appeal, and b) the fact that the Court’s original decision took more than six years to reach, and c) given the priority of protecting athletes and exercising caution the inequality of power in this situation, the commission has determined that WT must take measures to ensure the well-being of athletes.
“Therefore, the Committee has issued the following guidelines: i) that the NTF take appropriate protective measures proposed by the NTF and approved by the Committee; and, ii) that you receive safety education through an accredited institution or program, which must be approved by the committee.
“We ask that you confirm that you agree with the committee’s recommendations.
Please provide your answer no later than 24 August. Please note that if you do not agree to follow the committee’s recommendations, WT is required to take further steps to enforce the committee’s findings and guidelines.”
Recall that Chukwumerije was charged with physical assault by female athletes as the Abuja Supreme Court dismissed a N500 million libel suit by him against Yemi Adeyemi-Enilari and Delateur Foundation on May 31.
In the lawsuit filed against Adeyemi-Enilari and Delateur Foundation on December 22, 2015, Chukwumerije had alleged that they (defendants) had published on the Nigeria Taekwondo Black Belt College Facebook page a letter dated October 5, 2015 purportedly addressed to “President, Nigeria Taekwondo Federation” regarding the plaintiff with the caption “Petition: Abuse and Assault of Taekwondo Athletes.”
It was learned that other athletes who had suffered similar abuse reported their tribulations to their state associations, as one of the victims, Fatimah Abdullahi, had told her ordeal in a petition written to the NTF.
“During my first training, he (Chukwumerije) told us to do certain things and when we didn’t get it right, he used a rope tied with paper to beat us,” she says in the disciplinary committee report released by our correspondents is quoted.
“There was a time when he wanted to use a small iron bar to hit us, but Master Tony Anafulu prevented him from using it on us,” Abdullahi said.
SaharaReporters published that despite being found guilty of assault and assault, Chukwumerije led the Nigerian Taekwondo contingent to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
“Can you imagine the same person found guilty of assault and assault leading the Nigerian taekwondo continent to the Olympics? Someone who should be in jail right now?
“Instead of taking action against him, the Nigerian government, the Ministry of Sports and the National Sports Commission (NSC) have decided to reward coach Chika Chukwumerije,” a source at the ministry said.