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Hannatu Musawa: The insolence behind Arts Minister’s N197m Hermes bag

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A virtuous woman is never moved by fashion labels and flamboyance. For her, luxury scarcely lies in nametags and ornate markers but in the absence of vulgarity. But Hannatu Musawa does not know that. If she does, she doesn’t care.

Thus her inclination to brazenly carry and flaunt a Hermes bag valued at Î116,261.89 Euros (197,008,446.628) while on a diplomatic trip with President Bola Tinubu to Qatar.

There hasn’t been any more repellent sight, several pundits averred, since Nigerians were plummeted into economic depression following President Tinubu radical surgical economics.

Nigeria’s Minister of Art, Culture and the Creative Economy Hannatu Musawa (previously deputy spokesperson for Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s campaign), does not understand perhaps how insensitive and vulgar it was to carelessly flaunt such a vulgar fashion item while many Nigerians are battling to survive the severity imposed on the country by her principal’s economic reforms.

Musawa ought to understand that only a self-centered, acquisitive woman would clad in the cloak of intransigence would carelessly flaunt such vulgar possession amid so much suffering and pain.

There is no gainsaying her action was at once deemed ugly and insensitive by diverse segments of netizens. Among other things, it brings back memories of the scandalous conduct of past female ministers, particularly former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

There is no gainsaying Alison-Madueke, among others, made news for the wrong reasons. She set the pace for vulgar acquisitiveness in Nigeria’s corridors of power.

About $40 million worth of expensive jewelry was recovered from her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).

The expensive jewelry comprising wristwatches, necklaces, bracelets, bangles, earrings and more were reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities of the former Minister. Some of the recovered items were listed as 125 pieces of wedding gowns, 13 pieces of small gowns, 41 pieces of waist trainers, 73 pieces of hard flower, 11 pieces of suit, 11 pieces of invisible bra, 73 pieces of veils, 30 pieces of braziers, two pieces of standing fan, 17 pieces of magic skits, six packets of blankets, one table blanket and 64 pairs of shoes.

The EFCC was granted permission by the court to seize the jewelry from Allison-Madueke after establishing that her known and provable lawful income is far less than the value of the jewelry sought to be forfeited.

Alison-Madueke, 63, served as petroleum minister from 2010 to 2015 under former President Goodluck Jonathan and also acted as OPEC president from 2014 to 2015.
She was arrested in London in October 2015, a few months after leaving office, and has also been the subject of investigations in Nigeria and the United States.

The ex-petroleum minister has denied the corruption allegations even as assets worth millions of pounds relating to her alleged offences have been frozen as part of an ongoing probe by the UK security agency.

The NCA accused her of having benefited from at least £100,000 ($127,000) in cash, chauffeur-driven cars, flights on private jets, and gifts from designer shops such as Cartier jewellery and Louis Vuitton goods, to mention a few.

The US Department of Justice also recovered illicit assets totalling $53.1 million linked to Alison-Madueke in March 2023. Nigeria’s EFCC claimed that about $153 million and more than 80 properties had been recovered from Alison-Madueke.

In August 2023, British police charged Alison-Madueke with bribery offences.

“We suspect Diezani Alison-Madueke abused her power in Nigeria and accepted financial rewards for awarding multi-million-pound contracts. These charges are a milestone in a thorough and complex international investigation,” said Andy Kelly, Head of the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) International Corruption Unit.

It would be really nice if Musawa could learn from the sad fate of

Allison-Madueke; the latter was equally known by her lust for expensive jewelry and bags.

Already, Nigerians are critical of her performance as she made the news recently for bungling a rare opportunity to put the country on the global map of culture and entertainment industry.

No thanks to Musawa, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (commonly known as The Recording Academy) held off its announcement of the creation of an African edition of the Grammy Awards and of several hubs throughout Africa. The announcement was initially supposed to happen after the 66th awards ceremony held in Los Angeles on February 4, but was cancelled after Nigeria’s sudden about-face.

Lagos is one of five cities selected by the prestigious American academy to be a regional hub, along with Johannesburg, Nairobi, Kigali and Abidjan (AI, 03/11/23). However, much to the Recording Academy’s dismay, Nigeria’s Minister of Art, Culture and the Creative Economy, Musawa left LA with the contract she was supposed to submit.

Pundits contend that she was ruffled by the fact that none of the five Nigerian artists nominated for a Grammy this year – Burna Boy, Davido, Asake, Olamide and Ayra Starr – won an award. But when contacted, the ministry explained this last-minute U-turn by the absence of Ugochi Akudo-Nwosu, the director of its Entertainment and Creative Services Department.

Notwithstanding, Nigerians, particularly entertainment stakeholders in the country, are hoping that Musawa would seize the opportunity of a few days reprieve granted the country by the Academy director, Harvey Mason Jr, and send the signed contract within a few days.

More Nigerians are calling on the minister to commit herself ardently to the serious task of governance and the development of the country’s entertainment, culture, and creative economies.

These are more noble and acceptable callings that require her devotion; and while she commits to the task, let her not forget to shun the lure of obsessive passion and lust for vulgar fashion items lest she ends up like Alison-Madueke and her ilk.

 

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BUA owner, Abdul Samad Rabiu loses $1.2 billion as naira weakens against U.S. dollar

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Nigerian billionaire businessman Abdul Samad Rabiu, chairman of BUA Group, one of Africa’s fastest-growing manufacturing and industrial

Nigerian billionaire businessman Abdul Samad Rabiu, chairman of BUA Group, one of Africa’s fastest-growing manufacturing and industrial conglomerates, has seen his net worth tumble $1.2 billion amid the recent weakness of the naira against the U.S. dollar.

Rabiu, ranked as Nigeria’s third-richest person and Africa’s sixth by Forbes, has experienced a notable drop in his wealth figures in recent times.

Since the start of the week, Rabiu’s net worth has fallen from $7.1 billion to $5.9 billion, a significant $1.2-billion decline. This drop has pushed him down to the 497th richest person globally, highlighting the severity of the impact.

Naira weakness behind Rabiu’s setback

The recent weakness of the naira has been cited as the primary cause behind Rabiu’s recent financial setback. The Nigerian currency has weakened for four straight days, erasing earlier gains after reaching three-month highs.

This decline is compounded by dwindling domestic dollar liquidity, further pressured by Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves falling to a seven-year low.

On Tuesday, the naira depreciated further against the U.S. dollar, closing at 1,300 naira per dollar at the official market. In response to this worrying trend, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has intensified efforts to stabilize the exchange rate.

A new circular released Tuesday revealed the CBN is selling additional dollars to Bureau De Change (BDC) operators.

Wealth anchored in public listings

Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu’s fortune is largely tied to his publicly traded companies. Rabiu maintains significant control, with a 99.8-percent stake in BUA Foods and a 96.29 percent stake in BUA Cement.

BUA Cement, the nation’s second-largest cement producer, boasts a market capitalization of N4.85 trillion ($3.9 billion). BUA Foods, the country’s most valuable listed food and agri-business company, holds a market cap of N6.84 trillion ($5.53 billion).

Naira volatility ripples through wealth

However, Rabiu, like many Nigerian business leaders, faces challenges due to the naira’s volatility against the dollar. This broader currency weakness raises critical questions about Nigeria’s economic resilience in the face of external pressures.

The decline in Rabiu’s net worth exemplifies the significant impact of currency fluctuations on the fortunes of Nigeria’s wealthy. This trend potentially signals wider challenges for the nation’s economy and top earners.

Credit: billionaires.africa

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Nigerian chess master Tunde Onakoya seeks $1-million funding for initiative

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Nigerian chess master Tunde Onakoya is leveraging his skills to raise $1 million for Chess in Slums Africa (CISA), an initiative he

Nigerian chess master Tunde Onakoya is leveraging his skills to raise $1 million for Chess in Slums Africa (CISA), an initiative he founded in 2018.

CISA focuses on educational development and youth empowerment in underserved communities across Africa.

Onakoya recently shattered the world record for the longest chess marathon, playing for more than 60 hours in New York City’s Times Square. This feat not only secured him a Guinness World Record but also boosted fundraising efforts for CISA, which aims to improve educational opportunities for African children.

Tunde Onakoya’s marathon for change

Playing against Shawn Martinez for two and a half days straight, Onakoya’s daring move secured a new record and fueled his non-profit’s $1-million fundraising campaign. CISA, in partnership with the U.S. non-profit “The Gift of Chess,” aims to distribute 1 million chess sets to impoverished communities by 2030, enriching the lives of underprivileged children.

Onakoya announced the achievement on social media, highlighting his dedication to supporting African education. “We have done it,” he wrote. “This is our why — the reason we are doing this… Together, we can make this happen.”

“This initiative will help us distribute one million chess sets by 2030,” Onakoya said, emphasizing his role as a board member of “The Gift of Chess.” The marathon, held in Times Square, surpassed the previous record set by Norwegians Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad in 2018.

CISA’s chess empowerment mission

Founded in 2018, CISA utilizes chess as a tool to empower children in marginalized African communities. The organization’s core mission is to foster critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and strategic planning in young minds, ultimately enhancing their overall well-being.

Onakoya’s record-breaking feat doubles as a million-dollar fundraising campaign. He aims to empower one million underprivileged children within five years by providing free chess instruction, after-school programs, and tournaments.

Onakoya’s unwavering determination serves as an inspiration. He showcases the power of passion and perseverance in driving positive change. Through his efforts, he strives to make a lasting impact on the lives of African children, demonstrating the transformative potential of education and community support.

Credit: billionaires.africa

 

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Nigerian tycoon Atedo Peterside loses $3.4million from Stanbic IBTC stake

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Nigerian businessman Atedo Peterside has encountered a substantial decline in his wealth following the downturn in the market value of his

Nigerian businessman Atedo Peterside has encountered a substantial decline in his wealth following the downturn in the market value of his stake in Stanbic IBTC Holdings (Stanbic IBTC) since Jan. 16.

This decline is primarily attributed to the devaluation of the naira and a notable decrease in the shares of the leading bank.

According to market data tracked by Billionaires.Africa, Peterside, who ranks among the country’s wealthiest bankers, has seen the market value of his stake in Stanbic IBTC decline by N2.14 billion ($3.41 million) since Jan. 16. This decline comes as investors on the local bourse continue to reduce their stakes in the financial service group.

Stanbic IBTC’s shares dip, investors face losses
Stanbic IBTC, a leading player in Nigeria’s financial services sector with a total asset value of N5.146 trillion ($4.1 billion), has seen its market capitalization drop below $600 million from over a billion dollars. The primary drivers of this decline are the challenging financial landscape in Nigeria and the devaluation of the country’s currency, the naira.

The devaluation, combined with a significant 23.36 percent decrease in Stanbic IBTC’s share price on the Nigerian Exchange, has led to a decline from N68.5 ($0.0715) to N52.50 ($0.04514) since January 16. Consequently, shareholders, including Atedo Peterside, have recorded substantial losses amounting to millions of dollars.

Peterside, a prominent figure in the Nigerian banking industry and founder of Anap Business Jets Limited and Atedo N. A. Peterside Foundation, holds a 1.14-percent stake in Stanbic IBTC, equivalent to 133,611,115 ordinary shares in the group.

Due to the slump in Stanbic IBTC shares and currency fluctuation, the market value of Peterside’s stake has decreased by N2.14 billion ($3.41 million) over the past 92 days, from N9.15 billion ($9.56 million) on Jan. 16 to N7.01 billion ($6.15 million).

Peterside anticipates lucrative dividends
While Atedo Peterside faces a significant decline in his stake in Stanbic IBTC, he remains poised to benefit from impressive dividends proposed by the leading Nigerian bank this year. Nigerian banks have showcased remarkable financial performance at the end of the 2023 fiscal year.

Buoyed by rising domestic interest rates and favorable foreign exchange movements, Stanbic IBTC reported a 74 percent year-on-year surge in profit to N140.62 billion ($108.9 million), surpassing the N80.81 billion ($62.5 million) profit recorded in 2022. The bank’s stellar performance solidifies its position as a powerhouse in Nigeria’s banking sector.

In line with its commitment to shareholder value and compliance with CBN regulations, Stanbic IBTC’s board of directors has proposed a dividend of N2.20 ($0.001712) per share, totaling N28.5 billion ($22.12 million), to be distributed from retained earnings. This impressive dividend announcement underscores the bank’s resilience, innovation, and unwavering pursuit of excellence in Nigeria’s financial landscape.

 

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Nigerian gambling magnate Kessington Adebutu faces $4million loss in Wema Bank shares

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Renowned Nigerian gambling magnate Kessington Adebutu has seen a notable decline in his wealth due to a recent drop in the market value of

Renowned Nigerian gambling magnate Kessington Adebutu has seen a notable decline in his wealth due to a recent drop in the market value of his stake in Wema Bank, one of the country’s oldest lenders.

According to data tracked by Billionaires.Africa, Adebutu, one of Nigeria’s richest men, has witnessed a N4.6 billion ($4.03 million) decline in the market value of his holding in the financial institution over the past 16 days.

This recent setback follows a surge in his fortune between March 8 and March 20, when his stake in Wema Bank increased by $2.3 million, propelling his net worth from N25.88 billion ($17.30 million) to N29.43 billion ($19.67 million).

Over the decades, Wema Bank, a financial services provider, has evolved into one of the country’s leading financial institutions. It boasts Africa’s first fully digital bank, ALAT, and is also one of Nigeria’s most resilient banks with decades of experience in the financial services sector.

Wema Bank’s shares on the NGX have plunged 15.29 percent, dropping from N8.50 to N7.20 (or $0.0075 to $0.0063) at the time of writing. This decline has pushed the bank’s market capitalization below $80 million and caused substantial losses for its shareholders.

In its recent report, the bank disclosed fraud losses exceeding $500,000 for 2023. The losses, totaling N685.59 million ($593,000), stemmed from various sources, including the bank’s digital channels, collection and payment systems, and third-party integrations.

Kessington Adebutu, founder of Nigeria’s oldest gaming company, Premier Lotto Limited, holds a significant 28.09 percent stake in Wema Bank through Neemtree Limited, a special purpose vehicle established in 2013 for targeted investments.

The recent downturn in Wema Bank’s share price has impacted the value of Adebutu’s stake. It has decreased from N30.04 billion ($26.34 million) on April 2 to N25.45 billion ($22.31 million), representing a loss of N4.60 billion ($4.03 million). Despite this financial setback, Adebutu remains one of the wealthiest investors on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX).

 

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83-year-old General Jemibewon files for divorce with wife of over 40 Years, Modupe

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83-year-old ex-miniater of Police Affairs, General David Jemibewon (Rtd) is currently in court seeking an end to his marriage of over 40

83-year-old ex-miniater of Police Affairs, General David Jemibewon (Rtd) is currently in court seeking an end to his marriage of over 40 years with his known wife, Mrs Modupe Jemibewon who is in her 70s.

A YouTuber, Adeola Agoro made the revelation in a video on her account, @SisiAdeolaAgoroOA.

The General is said to have claimed in the divorce suit that he was not legally married to Modupe. He also said he is no longer happy with their union.

He has also been separated from his wife for over two years as his children are said to have moved him away from their Abuja home where he used to live with Modupe. They have lost contact since then until she got served the divorce suit recently.

General Jemibewon was married (in 1965) to Comfort Jemibewon (née Oni), who passed away on July 22, 2015 at the age of 70. He took Modupe as a second wife (in the 70s) while still married to his first wife, who gave him 5 children, Dele, Femi, Tayo, Bimbo and Yomi.

General David and Modupe Jemibewon have one daughter together. She got married in 2019.

For the past three decades, Modupe has been synonymous with the Kogi-born General as his wife. They stepped out together at many social functions.

She is equally a well known society woman. Even as recently as the Valentine’s Day in 2021 when they both granted a newspaper interview where they spoke sweetly of their love life. It however remains unknown, what had gone so bad between them.

It was also revealed that Mrs Modupe has been reaching out to people she thought could help her prevail on the General to have a change of mind.

However, the octogenerian General seemed hell-bent in his resolve and he enjoys the full backing of the five children he had from his first marriage. There had been no love lost between the children and Modupe right from the beginning and she is pointing at their direction for manipulating their dad.

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW

 

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Cautionary tale of Tinuade Sanda… How administrative recklessness, egotism, quickened her fall

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Everyone has a thousand wishes before a tragedy, but just one afterward. Ask Dr. Tinuade Sanda, if she could turn back the hands of time, she

Everyone has a thousand wishes before a tragedy, but just one afterward. Ask Dr. Tinuade Sanda, if she could turn back the hands of time, she would heed the voice of caution.

Every passing second, she rues how an appointment that she never really understood and was ill-prepared for, eventually manifested as her curse.

The embattled boardroom lioness, who recently faced removal as the MD/CEO of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (Eko Disco), has now been dismissed from her position at the holding company, West Power & Gas (WPG).

At her dismissal, she came by the sudden realisation that tragedy is hardly glamorous. Now, she knows it doesn’t play out in real life as it does on a stage or between the pages of a book. It is neither a punishment meted out nor a lesson conferred without an underlying cause or mortal trigger. Its horrors are never solely attributable to the proverbial odds. Tragedy is tangled and nasty, injudicious and confusing. And quite avoidable too at the appropriate deployment of caution.

At her sack, Sanda spent each day ruing her disregard for caution. Eventually, she came to accept that a milligram of caution is always worth a double quintal of remorse. Had she understood this early enough, she might have avoided her current tragedy.

Her journey into infamy started with a step, and her fall with a stumble.

As she crashed and burned, her whole world went completely black covered in the soot of her searing. The air looked black. The sun looked black. She laid up in bed and stared at the black walls of her house, wishing that some miracle would happen and she would receive a sudden recall to her esteemed and former position as EKEDC head honcho. She was, however, surprised to see the world didn’t stop. It was at this point that she understood the depth of her naivete all along.

Sanda’s tragedy may be attributed to her arrogance. Now that it has cost her, her job, she understands that superciliousness is a devious trait, ridding the conceited of wisdom and native intelligence. All it left her with was a sharp tongue, a rancid repute and a pointing finger. The arrogant leader never really learns much from hearing herself speak but it took her unceremonious sack for Tinuade Sanda to not know that.

Losing her job with Eko Disco was a great tragedy. More tragic in the sense, that, even after she was booted out of her high office, she hoped against reason that somehow, she would be reinstated.

She fought to be reinstated but contrary to her expectation, she wasn’t restored to her position, instead, she was given the boot from West Power & Gas (WPG), the parent company of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), weeks after she was asked to return to the firm (WPG).

Until she was posted to the EKEDC as a Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO), Sanda served as the Chief Finance Officer (CFO) of WPG, a consortium of local businesses owning a 60 per cent stake and controlling interest in Eko Disco.

Sanda, who has been in the eye of the storm, following a boardroom crisis at the distribution company, was relieved of her duties at WPG via a letter dated April 17, 2024, and signed by the company’s Chair, Charles Momoh.

Sanda could eventually signal the restoration of peace and stability to the company which mainly supplies electricity to Lekki, Ibeju, Lagos Island, Orile, Ijora, Apapa, Mushin, Festac, Ojo, Ajah and Agbara.

Sanda’s sack from WPG concludes a series of high-profile shifts in leadership within the organization, driven by directives from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

Until her removal as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of the EKEDC, Sanda carried on like a lioness who deemed the boardroom as her jungle. Thus she roared at will, threatening the peace of both the old and young in her orbit.

However, unlike the feral cat, Sanda neither lived nor worked in a jungle. She wasn’t a lioness either. She was simply a parlour pet of the powers that be, who mistook herself to be a wild cat.

Women, like Sanda, have served all these centuries, in various capacities. But only a handful of them eventually flourish by their genius, humility, and delicious power interred in their femininity. Sanda enjoyed a perfect opportunity to prove her prowess, puncture the anti-female boardroom stereotype, and tower twice her natural size, above her male and female peers but she blew it.

She was booted out of her high offices at EKEDC and WPG as a consequence of high-wired politics and power play that took place over several months.

Although there was initially some vigorous pushback by her supporters, Sanda, who openly challenged her removal and dismissed it as unacceptable lost in the acrimonious battle to reclaim her spot.

If Tinuade has learned any lesson now, it must be that conceit is the ugliest armour a woman could wear. While the world saw her as a tiresome magpie, she looked down on the world, her husband included, thinking how ugly and despicable they all were.

The scariest aspect of being sacked from her exalted positions EKEDC and WPG, is her lack of moral and emotional support at the homefront.

But she has herself to blame. Tinuade deserted her home and ended her marriage at the cusp of the ascent of her career ladder. Insiders revealed that she brazenly called it quits with her husband, Sola Sanda, and moved out of their matrimonial home with the kids, into a posh residence in Ikoyi.

Thus as her ordeal persists, she has no shoulders to cry on and no one to wipe her tears. And this revealed sources very close to her, has aggravated the emotional strain that she has been experiencing since she became embroiled in the high-wired powerplay that cost her, her job.

Tinuade’s vanity is unprecedented, according to very close sources to her. She simply chose to live for herself and spared no expense in giving herself a treat. Now that her love for selfish treats has led to a searing trial, she has only herself to blame.

The Capital findings revealed that she would have avoided her sad fate if she had displayed the necessary tact, brilliance and humility required to run the EKEDC.

For a woman who allegedly drew a N20 million monthly salary aside from other hefty but undisclosed allowances, she undoubtedly shot herself in the foot with her crass display of insolence and disdain for both senior and junior colleagues, argued insiders.

So disgusted was the company’s board with her perceived misconduct that all the members allegedly voted for her immediate dismissal as the company’s MD/CEO.

At her sack by EKEDC, she thought she would enjoy a reprieve from WPG, its parent company, but the latter deemed it wiser to disengage with her in a bid to avoid complications arising from the high-wired boardroom politics triggered by her leadership at the EKEDC.

Why Sanda’s appointment was terminated by WPG

The official reasons why West Power & Gas Limited, the parent company of Eko Electricity Distribution Plc (EKEDP) sacked the immediate former MD/CEO of the electricity distribution company, Ms Tinuade Sanda has emerged.

Meanwhile, the firm did not give reasons for sacking Sanda in the termination letter.

But in an internal document obtained by SaharaReporters on Monday, the company accused Ms Sanda of running EkoDisco at an economic loss of 25 per cent way above the 20 per cent target of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

In the document dated April 1, 2024 and titled: “Management changes at Eko Disco executive summary,” the firm said she lost the confidence of her Directors and shareholders. The company also accused Ms Sanda of causing division in the company, despite failing to perform to the expectations of the shareholders.

The document partly read: “Eko Disco is operating at a loss level of 25% compared to the NERC target of 20%. Meanwhile, Ikeja Disco outperforms their NERC set target of 19% with a loss level of 17%.

“This is poor compared to our 25% loss level. Customer quality dictates that Eko Disco should naturally outperform Ikeja Disco if it is run properly.

“The past MD has recently been publishing misleading information in online and print media falsely claiming to be MD of the Disco. Such actions, and the suspicion that she was behind the highly defamatory campaigns and false petitions against the board on this matter have severely soured her relationship with the Board.

“The Company must move past this unfortunate period with unity both in management and The Board with a new MD. The MD instigates division among her management colleagues and amongst the board members.

“She has misled the Board regarding information provided by the Board on the activities and indebtedness of the company and has lost the confidence of the majority of the Board and shareholders who hold at least 70% of the core investor company. Under this scenario, the MD has no place anymore with the company.

“The past MD shows a lack of respect for individual directors. She was at one time suspended for being extremely rude to the former BPE DG who was on Eko Disco Board.”

“In conclusion, the past MD has failed to perform to the expectations of the shareholders, has sowed division in the company, has disrespected her Directors, has misled her Directors and the public, and has lost the confidence of her Directors and shareholders,” it also read.

Sources: TheCapital

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