Ex-Skye Bank chair petitions EFCC over alleged forceful takeover of company

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 Former chairperson of the board of directors of the defunct Skye Bank Plc, Tunde Ayeni, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged forceful takeover of a company by his partner, Hosa Okunbo.

In a petition by Femi Falana, counsel to Mr Ayeni, the petitioner asked the EFCC to investigate alleged gross mismanagement and criminal diversion of company funds by Mr Okunbo.

In the petition, dated December 7, Mr Ayeni alleged that Mr Okunbo, his partner at Ocean Marine Solutions (OMS) Limited since 2003, allegedly schemed him out of the control of the company.

The petitioner said he and Mr Okunbo invested in the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), but his partner moved the company’s account to another bank and abandoned repayment of a $100 million loan used for the acquisition of the firm.

Mr Ayeni said he discovered “a lot of stealing and diversion as well as gross mismanagement of large sums of money belonging to the company,” urging the anti-graft commission to step in.

“Subsequently,” the petition reads in part, “Capt. Hosa Okunbo told our client that all accounts of the businesses that he was involved in for which he was a signatory, was being rumoured to be closed because of the trial our client was facing, and it was important for him to step aside from the Ocean Marine and its subsidiaries structure and hand over to him, so that he could protect the income sources as that was the only source of income with which to fund the faithful repayment of the gross liabilities, which were well over $150 million owed to a consortium of banks led by Polaris Bank over the acquisition of the IBEDC and the YEDC DisCos as at the time.

“Our client agreed to the advice and did not doubt Capt. Hosa Okunbo’s sincerity and intention to act in good faith, based on the trust our client had in him as they had both been working and partnering together since July 2003.

“At no point was an actual sale of his interest in Ocean Marine Solutions Ltd or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates ever discussed, but Capt. Hosa Okunbo is trying to use the gentlemen’s arrangement to forcefully take over his holdings of the Company whose monthly income is about $9 million.”

Mr Ayeni claimed that, however, since the suggestion was effected, their client does not receive emails and briefings from the group in respect of the businesses and finances any longer, but was getting the monthly allowance they had agreed to be paying themselves

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