World Taekwondo has responded to the petition alleging that Olympic bronze medallist Chika Chukwumerije assaulted some female athletes in the build-up to the 2015 African Games.
The PUNCH reported in July that the High Court in Abuja dismissed a N500m libel suit by Chukwumerije against Yemi Adeyemi-Enilari and Delateur Foundation on May 31.
Chukwumerije had dragged Adeyemi-Enilari to court after the Delateur Foundation boss alleged in a Facebook post that he assaulted female athletes Fatimah Abdullahi and Esther Uzoukwu, who were in camp at Febson Hotel, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja in preparation for the 2015 African Games.
Adeyemi-Enilari petitioned WT after the court threw out the 2008 Olympics bronze medallist’s case, asking the world body to wade in.
After Chukwumerije’s reply to the petition, the world body said it found him culpable of the allegations due to the court ruling, which he is yet to appeal.
In a letter dated August 18, signed by WT Secretary General Hoss Rafaty, which was made available to our correspondent, the WT directed the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation to put in place measures to prevent future assault of athletes.
The world body also said Chukwumerije should undergo a “safeguarding education” from a recognised institution.
“Following a review of the complaint and your response, the Committee found most persuasive the Court Decision of 31 May 202, ref SUIT NO.FCT/HC/CV/577/15 1 (the ‘Court Decision’), and its holding on pages 20-21 that the facts in question did occur as reported,” the WT wrote.
“The committee notes your stated intent to appeal the Court Decision. However, a) given the uncertain timeline for such an appeal, and b) the fact that the initial Court Decision took more than six years to reach, and c) the priority to safeguard athletes and err on the side of caution in, given the disparity of power in this situation, the Committee has determined that steps should be taken by WT to safeguard the welfare of athletes.
“Therefore, the Committee has issued the following guidance: i) that the NTF puts in place appropriate protective measures, to be proposed by the NTF and approved by the Committee; and, ii) that you undertake safeguarding education via a recognised institution or program, to be approved by the Committee.
“We ask that you confirm your agreement to abide by the Committee’s recommendations,” WT added.According to WT, Chukwumerije has until August 24 to appeal the ruling. (Punch)