Lagos Dep. Gov. Hon. Adejoke Orelope Adefulire (l) during the presentation of Medals in weightlifting event to Jubril Abubakar of Delta State (m) and David Adeyemo of Bayelsa State at the on-going National Sport Festival in Lagos.
The shameless Baptis, who had featured for Cameroon at the London 2012 Olympics qualifier in Kenya, won gold medals at stake in the snatch, clean and jerk and the total events at the Brai Ayonote Boxing Gymnasium, National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos last weekend.
Baptis’ original nationality was uncovered owing to a jury that was set up by the NWF over the protest made by the competing states to the body.
Commenting on the national embarassment, NWF boss, Chimdi Ejiogu said that the federation has withdrawn the three medals won by the Cameroonian following the discovery of the jury.
“We discovered through findings when the snatch event was going on that he is not a Nigerian as claimed by Team Anambra, but we allowed him to finish all the events including clean and jerk before we took a decision to expel him and also strip him of the three gold medals he won.”
Ejiogu said further that Anambra State will also face the music by fielding a non-Nigerian at the games which is contrary to the rules and regulation of the National Sports Festival.
As a result, Majinedum Seldom of Team Kaduna, who was the first runner-up in the 77kg event has been awarded the gold medal, as Rabiu Ibrahim of Team Nasarawa, who was the second runner-up has been awarded the silver medal while the fourth-placed lifter has been awarded the bronze medal.
Prior to this shameful incident, former national and commonwealth champion, Modupe Oshikoya has expressed her displeasure over the allegations that some states are featuring mercenaries from neighbouring countries such as Benin Republic and Niger Republic.
“That’s not possible. I don’t want to believe this happens, what is happening to our young boys and girls who are all over the country? It’s a shame if it’s true that states hire merceneries to represent them in the festival,” Oshikoya said.