Following the dissolution of the Board of Directors of Odu’a Investment Company Limited, SaharaReporters has uncovered myriads of corrupt activities perpetrated within the investment.
The board was dissolved in April 2020 at a virtual meeting of South-West governors.
Governor of Ondo State and Chairman, South-West Governor’s Forum, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, announced the dissolution of the board.
Akeredolu didn’t disclose issues that led to the dissolution of the board.
However, investigations by SaharaReporters revealed that financial misappropriation and internal rancour, especially among the board directors forced the South-West governors to take the decision.
It was gathered that the investment had no record of any dividend payment to shareholders between 2007 and 2013, leaving the financial record of the investment at a loss.
Within seven years, the investment’s profit was either low or a loss while administrative expenses, overdraft, finance cost and unpaid gratuity were high.
At the centre of the financial scandal were Engineer Sola Akinwumi, the immediate past Chairman of OICL; Chief (Dr) Isaac Akintade, a former Chairman of OICL from 2013 to 2017, as well as the former Group Managing Director of the Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Mr Adebayo Jimoh.
The trio was indicted in many financial misappropriations that included the diversion of the investment’s fund for personal use.
They were also accused of poor handling of the investment, which led to running aground of the different companies owned by the Odua Investment.
“Odua Net, a telecommunication company, was granted a licence to run and was on the verge of being listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange but was run aground by the mismanagement of the board in connivance with Mr Jimoh.
“The investment also owned Wema Bank but was surreptitiously sold out to become a public liability company. Another company poorly managed is the Airport Hotel, Ikeja. The shabby state of the hotel has made it become an old glory.
“The board directors along with their friends visit the hotel to live an extravagant life without paying for items consumed,” a source told SaharaReporters.
Documents of internal audit obtained from one of the sources linked to the state governors, revealed the extent of corrupt activities in the investment.
The audit shows an increase in the Profit Before Tax from N378m and N495m in 2013 to N849m and N1.061b in 2018 for the holding company and the group respectively.
It was also gathered that N292m was paid as a dividend in 2019 with a total of N1.208b paid between 2015 and 2019. This is in direct contrast to the zero Naira paid between 2008 and 2014.
Recall that in November 2011, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission probed the GMD, Mr Jimoh, and four other management staff of the company over alleged misappropriation of N10.3m belonging to the company.
The ICPC was allegedly influenced to abandon the investigation and also free Jimoh of all charges.
Sources said the owner state governors have yet to decide on whether to commence legal actions against the previous board’s chairman, directors and previous GMDs. Meanwhile, a new board has been inaugurated to further drive the investment in its current height.
The board is headed by Dr Lawrence Olusegun Aina (Osun) as the Chairman.
While Mr Segun Olujobi (Ekiti), Dr Tola Kasali (Lagos), Otunba Bimbo Ashiru (Ogun), Chief Segun Ojo (Ondo), Seeni Adio Esq SAN (Oyo) as members of the board.
Saharareporters, New York