Former Skye Bank Chairman, ‘Tunde Ayeni has decided to throw his years of friendship with billionaire titan, Capt Hosa Okunbo to the bin as he launches an ambitious scheme to take over the multi-billion dollar company, Ocean Marine Solutions Limited.
While Ayeni has written a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accusing Okunbo of misappropriation of funds, Okunbo and the Board have branded Ayeni as a meddlesome interloper who had enjoyed the benevolence of Okunbo and is seeking to blackmail Okunbo at this time of his ill-health for financial benefit.
Facts and documents available to The Boss indicate that Ayeni had no reason to make any claims regarding monies or the running of the OSML because he sold his shares on August 15, 2018 including the 175,000,000 ordinary shares in GYRO (and the 50,000,000 shares held by his wife, Mrs Biola Ayeni) to Wells Property Development Company Limited for the total sum of N2billion. He was no longer a director or shareholder.
In what is certainly a case of friendship gone sour and a grand betrayal of trust, The Boss has leafed through many documents to present a riveting story of boardroom intrigues that has now come to the fore.
Before the December 2020 petition of Ayeni, the EFCC had already been involved in OSML matter as far back as 2019.
A letter (EFCC/EC/GC/31/2538) dated 25th June, 2019, signed by Mohammed Umar Abba, Director of Operations of Operations, Economic & Financial Crimes Commission and addressed to the Board of Directors of OMSL states “We wish to state that in June 2017, a petition regarding infractions by the previous Board and Management of Skye Bank was forwarded from the office of the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“In the course of investigation, Dr Tunde Ayeni was invited and he volunteered a statement confirming withdrawal of N29.5billion naira cash from Skye Bank. He, however, promised to refund the said funds to the bank and further claimed to have some interest in Ocean Marine and its subsidiaries.
“Based on the above, investigation was extended to Corporate Affairs Commission where it was discovered that Dr Tunde Ayeni had on the 8th of August, 2018 actually sold his 35 million ordinary shares in Ocean Marine Solutions Limited and 37. 2 million ordinary shares in PPP Fluid Mechanics Limited to Wells Property Development Company”
“Investigation carried out so far revealed that Dr Tunde is no longer Director and shareholder of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited and PPP Fluid Mechanics as he has since sold his entire shares and resigned his appointment as Director and Shareholder of the companies.
Another document that confirms the above is from Prime Union Investment Limited. Titled Special Resolution of Prime Union Investment Limited RC: 346712 and dated August 14, 2018.
Paragraph four of the document signed Dr Ayeni Adekunle.J (Chairman, Board of Directors/Shareholder) and Mrs Abiola Ayeni A. (Shareholder/Director) reads “That all shareholders consent to the sale of the Company’s shares in Ocean Marine Solutions Limited to Wells Property Development Company Limited for a consideration of N2billion”
The following day, August 15, 2018, the die was cast as OMSL held its own Special Resoution and agreed as follows:
“1. That Dr Olatunde John Ayeni has agreed to sell his 5,000,000 ordinary shares of N1 each in Ocean Marine Solutions Limited to Wells Property Development Limited
“2. That Prime Union Investment Limited has agreed to sell its 30,000,000 Ordinary Shares N1 each in Ocean Marine Solutions Limited to Wells Property Development Company Limited
“3That Wells Property Development company has agreed to purchase the 35, 000,000 shares from both Dr. Olatunde John Ayeni and Prime Union Investment Limited including the shares by Dr Olatunde John Ayeni in associated companies which consists of 37, 200,000 Ordinary shares held in PPPFM and 175,000,000 Ordinary Shares in GYRO (including the 50,000,000 Ordinary Shares held by Mrs Ayeni for the total sum of N2billion”
“7. That following the transfers above, the Company shares be allotted as follows:
a Wells Property Development Company Limited (73,150,000 Ordinary Shares)
- Mr Garth Dooley (15,000,000 Ordinary Shares)
- Capt Dr Idahosa Wells Okunbo (7, 850,000 Ordinary Shares)
- Mr Wilson Omogbale Aikhomu (5,000,000 Ordinary Shares)”
The document was signed by three indiviiduals: Capt Dr. Idahosa Wells Okunbo, Dr OlatundeJohn Ayeni and Mr Garth Dooley.
We gathered that it was based on this agreement that Capt. Hosa Okunbo on November 26, 2018 paid the sum of N1billion (one billion) to Olutoyl Estate Development and Services Limited’s Sterling bank Account and the rest of the funds was to be paid every month on installment.
That was not all, to show he has the milk of human kindness flowing freely in him and knowing full well his friend was in a financial mess, he reportedly instructed that Shareholder’s allowances which should have gone to him and Wells Property Development having acquired his shares, should still be paid from that period till September 2020. Also his wife, Biola’s allowance and his staff who earn their salaries in naira too were also part of this benevolent package.
Therefore, it was shocking to many familiar with the case to see Ayeni begin a campaign through a petition by his lawyers, Femi Falana & Co over two years later, insisting that he still had shareholding in OMSL.
In a swift reaction to Ayeni’s petition, OSML Board met on December 17, 2020 and apart from passing a vote of confidence for his selfless and personal effort at taking the company to greater heights, said it decided to set to records straight and to prevent Government Agencies, Clients of OMS and the general public from being misled by false stories.
The Board slammed Ayeni Thus:
- That Dr. Olatunde John Ayeni is no longer a Director of OMS and any of its Associated Companies having resigned from OMS since August 2018.
- That Dr. Olatunde John Ayeni is no longer a shareholder of OMS and its Associated Companies having sold and transferred all his shares and interests to Wells Property Development Company Limited for valuable consideration since 2018.
- That Dr. Olatunde John Ayeni has not been involved and connected in the management of OMS since 2018 when he resigned from the Board and sold his shares.
- That Dr. Olatunde John Ayeni became aware in September, 2020 that the Chairman of OMS Capt. (Dr.) Idahosa Wells Okunbo had health issues and was undergoing treatment in London and has since that time started making false claims that he is still a part of OMS.
- That the Board of OMS has implicit and unshaken confidence in all the steps taken by Capt. (Dr.) Idahosa Wells Okunbo in managing the affairs of the company and the lofty heights to which he has taken the company.
- The Board commends and appreciates Capt. (Dr.) Idahosa Wells Okunbo for his selfless and personal efforts in managing the affairs of the company and the use of his personal resources in meeting operational financial shortfall in the company.
- The company states unequivocally that its accounts are in good and correct order and its funds are intact and not missing, misappropriated or otherwise mismanaged.
- The Board has passed a vote of confidence on Capt. (Dr.) Idahosa Okunbo.
- Dr. Olatunde John Ayeni is a meddlesome interloper who is seeking to blackmail Capt. (Dr.) Idahosa Wells Okunbo at this time of his ill-health for financial benefit.
- Dr. Olatunde John Ayeni has no interest whatsoever in OMS and its affairs and is hereby advised to steer clear from OMS and its Associated Companies.”
In another development, arising from the same petition from Ayeni, Lawyer and Activist, Hon. Ned Nwoko in a letter addressed to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu stated that “at no point in time have I had any dealings with Ayeni or Ocean Marine Solutions in whatever capacity.”
Describing Ayeni’s assertion as “a malicious statement devoid of truth”, Nwoko expressly stated he has “never received any sum from Ayeni which he purported in his petition and has never played any role whatsoever as it relates to this transaction.”
“I honestly believe that Tunde Ayeni is mistaken ….all transactions on the subject matter was done directly with Capt (Dr.) Idahosa Wells Okunbo in his persona capacity.
More details later…