• Monday, April 22, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Shareholders fight at Eko Disco fingered in ouster of CEO Tinuade Sanda

Eko DisCo annuls Tinuade Sanda’s sack, calls removal ‘erroneous, unilateral action’

A growing shareholders tussle is unsettling affairs at Eko DisCo, according to investigations by BusinessDay.

The fight for control has already led to the sack of Tinuade Sanda, the company’s managing director who represented one of the core investors.

BusinessDay learnt that Sanda was fired in a web of controversy created by a core investor group that had targeted her for sometime now as a way of weakening the hold of a rival shareholder group.

According to a well-informed source, trouble began when the regulator NERC received a well-founded petition from former workers of EKDC who alleged that there was a racket involving ghost workers by which the company was being fleeced.

NERC caused the board to investigate the allegation but the board came back to say that the allegation was unfounded.

Unsatisfied, the regulator asked for further investigation of the allegation, insisting that the culprits be paid to exit the company.

In addition, NERC learnt that some of the issues revolved around some untouchables on the ground that they represented core investor groups.

On account of this the regulator frowned at the practice whereby staff who are not employed by EKDC were running the organisation and this seem to have left the door open for staff of EKDC representing investor groups to be sent back to their employers.

While the person behind the ghost workers was fished out from the legal department, the directors who always wanted Sanda out, used the engagement with NERC to ship her out.

On Tuesday one of the parties Babor Egeregor, a director and chair of the board’s Legal and Regulatory committee issued a statement blaming the chairman of the company Dere Otubu for terminating the contract of Sanda as the MD/CEO of EKDC.

The statement said there was nowhere in the NERC order that the regulator requested the removal of any staff either seconded to or hired by EKEDC except those connected to the alleged fraud of ghost workers.

According to Egeregor, “NERC’s directives were issued to compel the Board of EKEDC, following picketing by the union and unrelenting staff protests, to act appropriately in the face of a determined position of a majority of the Board members to cover up the alleged use of ghost workers together with the alleged fraud and protect persons connected with the alleged fraud.

“Mr. Dere Otubu’s letter, therefore, was done in bad faith and in vengeful revenge against the MD/CEO for escalating the alleged fraud and issuing queries against one of his protégés, whom he has desperately sworn to protect by all means. As a matter of fact, the Ag DG of the BPE, representing the Government on the Board of EKEDC, vehemently rejected the attempt to cover up the alleged crime and insisted on compliance with the punishment prescribed in the conditions of service.

“Rather than comply with the Orders of NERC, a recourse to subterfuge was hatched with the purported termination and the publication of different misleading headlines such as “FG Sacks MD of EKEDC”, “Tinuade Sanda relieved of her position as MD, Eko Distribution Company”.

“There are no doubts about a deliberate agenda and unconcealed mischief to misread the Orders of the NERC to malign Dr. Sanda’s reputation for daring to escalate and issue queries to (names withheld) for alleged fraud through the use of ghost workers for 3 years, and continuous payment of salaries to exited staffs despite personally receiving their resignation letters.”

He also alleged that “The board of EKEDC, on which I sit has neither met nor decided on the purported appointment of Mrs.Rekiah Momoh as Ag.MD/CEO ,except Mr.Otubu and his close circle of colleagues, have transformed themselves into “the board”.