Summary of King Appolus Chu Reflections on Building Harmonious Relationships Among Traditional Rulers in Nigeria

The National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria is the umbrella body of all levels of traditional rulers across the country. If any traditional ruler of any domain in Nigeria can afford to sponsor his or herself to the General Assembly meetings of the National Council, they should be welcomed. That is because the General Assembly of the Council is like a town hall meeting of traditional rulers of Nigeria. It is like a forum for traditional rulers where they gather to receive updates on happenings across the country.
The general assembly of any organization is like a convention ground where members are exposed to new ideas. For example, lawyers in Nigeria have their Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), membership of which is open to every lawyer whether the attorney general and minister of justice of the country, senior advocate, professor of law, principal partner of a law firm or one newly called to the bar. The older lawyers, including the principal partner of a law firm, will not ask the youngest employee in their firm what they are doing at the NBA convention when they meet there. On the contrary, the senior ones will be happy to know that the younger ones are eager to improve their knowledge and practice of the legal profession.
Leadership is the stock in trade of traditional rulers and the General Assembly of the Council of traditional rulers offers them the opportunity to improve their leadership styles by interacting with kings from different parts of the country and learning from issues discussed by experts on different fields that are invited to speak to the royal fathers on various issues concerning the country. Therefore the General Assembly of the Council should be open to all levels of traditional rulers across the country.
That is not to say there are no meetings of traditional rulers that are not restricted to only a few members. The board of trustees meetings, coordinators meetings, committee meetings, state chairmen meetings, executives meetings, are examples of meetings that are restricted to only those traditional rulers that fall into the categories so mentioned.
The National Assembly is not a ground for a traditional ruler to insult or ridicule any other. That is demeaning to the pride of traditional rulers and their domains, since no traditional ruler has command over another. Like the co-chairman of the National Council, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto, has rightly pointed out, traditional rulers should be respected “whether their level is first class or 100th class.”
The National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria is finally beginning to make impact in the country, because of the present leadership of the Council. Therefore every traditional ruler who attends the General Assembly meetings of the Council ought to do so with the aim of supporting the leadership to promote issues of national interest, government programmes, and the welfare of traditional rulers and their domains. They should join hands with the leadership of the Council to work for the brotherhood of the traditional institution and the unity of the country, rather than look for ways to discriminate and divide or classify one another.
Our royal father’s should come to the realization that leadership begins and ends at the doorposts of the traditional rulers.

The ELITES Magazine Special DIGITAL Edition Is Out!

Another Special DIGITAL edition of The ELITES Magazine is out. This 140-page edition is packaged to celebrate prominent Nigerians who were born in 1960, a very significant year in the history of Nigeria. The year 2020 marked 60 years since our nation gained independence.
If Nigeria, were a man, we would have measured it neck-to-neck with the male achievers here. Inversely, if Nigeria were a woman, we would have seen how much it faired with the womenfolk who made the list. Fortunately, Nigeria is a country, a giant of Africa for that matter and all of the people you are about to read about became what they are today because the country provided an enabling environment to groom them to stardom. The list is in-exhaustive, but we hope you will make do with the few names mentioned here.


To read these juicy stories, click on the PDF links below👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DLUqaRJ_N-AAnBYbU0k42mzpx32SbXh7/view?usp=drive_web

Happy reading!

And here is to making more cherished memories in 2021!

Happy New Year.

Heads May Roll in Presidency, MDAs Over Disagreement Between Okunbo and Ayeni


Nseobong Okon-Ekong writes that an Ijaw ethnic nationality group protecting the memory of its late patriot, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, Bayelsa Natives in Nigeria and the Diaspora, among others have weighed in on the quarrel between Captain Idahosa Okunbo and Dr. Olatunde Ayeni, which is assuming wider political dimension

For a very long time, erstwhile close associates, Captain Idahosa Okunbo and Dr. Olatunde Ayeni were prevented from going at each other’s jugular by friends and family members who made every effort possible to reconcile them. But after both men, last week, decided to pull political strings and deploy their contacts in government in a show of strength, a point of irreconcilable differences appears to have been reached.

Supposed allies of Okunbo and Ayeni like Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu have each made cautious and courteous interventions and other forms of involvement into the costly disagreement over business interests and mega financial transactions that have generated heated divergence of opinion, possible scandals in several ministries, departments and agencies of government and have threatened to topple a delicate balance of political power in the Presidency and a few states of the South-west, which may result in the loss of thousands of jobs.

Notwithstanding calls to both men, especially, Ayeni to be decorous and transparent in his account of the transaction, the former Chairman of the defunct Skye Bank (now Polaris Bank) has continued to report a version that is unswerving with his vow to play the victim, whereas incontrovertible evidence show the exact opposite.

The bone of contention is the claims by Ayeni that he remains a shareholder of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMS) despite documentary evidence showing he sold his shares in 2018. Ayeni is said to have waited for a time when Okunbo is down in the dumps and has been receiving treatment in a London hospital for the past three months, to churn out petitions and claims that he is still a shareholder in the company.

But Counsel to Okunbo, Mr. Augustine Alegeh (SAN), a former President of the Nigeria Bar Association has stated clearly that Ayeni is being unnecessarily belligerent and outlandish in his claims that he discovered “a lot of stealing and diversion as well as gross mismanagement of large sums of money belonging to the company.” Ayeni, may be aware that his past as Chairman of Skye Bank who was accused of giving himself insider loans without collateral and which he could not pay back to Skye Bank may have returned to haunt him, has taken the fight to Okunbo, while positioning himself as the victim. The former bank chairman knows that his story will be viewed with distrust by many. He was a strong financial pillar to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and was said to have doled out billions of Naira in the bid to return Jonathan as President. Ayeni allegedly borrowed tens of billions of Naira to buy NITEL/MTEL, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company. Skye Bank (now Polaris Bank) was said to have run into irretrievable troubled waters owing, largely to Ayeni’s alleged fraudulent activities, but was rescued for the sake of hapless depositors by the Asset and Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON).

In the recent Edo State governorship contest, Okunbo came out openly in support of the APC candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

Incorporated in 2008 by Okunbo, OMS, a leading asset protection company dedicated to protecting Nigeria’s natural resources from graft and illegal activities, is also a foremost player in the global maritime industry. Okunbo, perhaps in a bid to expand his company’s operations, invited Ayeni on board and he reportedly snapped up about 35 percent stake.

However, after his unceremonious ouster from Skye Bank owing to alleged money laundering and mismanagement of depositors’ funds, Ayeni approached Okunbo that he would like to sell off his shares and cease to be a director of OMS. Okunbo, who would never use gilded words to masque deceit or brandish fickle principles and statistics to conclude with a false truth, appealed to him to rescind his decision. But Tunde’s mind was already made up to sell off the shares. Documents show that Ayeni, using his company, Prime Union Investment Limited, specifically on August 15, 2018, agreed to sell his shares including the 175, 000, 000 ordinary shares in GYRO (and the 50, 000, 000 shares held by Mrs Ayeni) to Wells Property Development Company Limited for the total sum of N2bn (Two billion Naira).

A special resolution of the board of Prime Union Investment Limited, signed by Ayeni and his wife, Biola, confirmed the sale of shares mid-August 2018. Following this agreement, Capt. Okunbo, on November 26, 2018, duly authorised the transfer of N1billion to Ayeni’s Olutoyl Estate Development and Services Ltd’s Sterling Bank account. The balance was mutually agreed to be paid on a monthly instalment.

The board of OMS went ahead to notify the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the Office of the Vice President per Ayeni’s resignation of his membership of the board of the OMS and its affiliate companies. While acknowledging the agreement in January 2019, the CBN stated, “Please, be informed that the resignation of Dr Ayeni from the board of your company does not in any way affect his liability, or that of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited or any of its subsidiaries/group members, to Skye Bank Plc (now Polaris Bank Limited) and, indeed, any other bank in Nigeria.”

Similarly, on March 1st, the Vice President, in an acknowledgement letter titled ‘Re: Notification of Resignation and Share Divestment of Dr Olatunde John Ayeni’ signed by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Ade Ipaye, applauded Capt. Okunbo’s renewed commitment to service in the agricultural, aviation and hospitality sectors of the economy, adding, “Your Company’s disclaimer as regards the said Dr. Ayeni’s activities as chairman of Skye Bank has been duly noted and brought to the attention of His Excellency, the Vice President.”

Interestingly, in a shocking volte-face after collecting his full balance, Ayeni, acutely aware of Okunbo’s illness and ongoing battle to stay alive, reportedly petitioned the EFCC through his lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, alleging that he sold his shares under duress and, therefore, wants more money. His premise, according to sources privy to the document, was that Okunbo is wealthy enough to pay him more from the company after he had collected the agreed N2billion. Falana, a renowned human rights activist and lawyer, is said to have taken up Ayeni’s case in his bid to possess Okunbo’s business, in spite of his public posture as a defender of the defenceless looms large and someone whose crusade for social justice reverberates globally. If Ayeni was under duress to sell his shares, as he now allegedly claims, was his wife, Biola Ayeni, who co-signed, too?

Thus, in a joint statement issued by the board, management and shareholders of OMS, Ayeni’s claims of still being a shareholder of the company were disproved. “Dr Olatunde John Ayeni is no longer a Director of OMS and any of its associated companies having resigned from OMS since August 2018,” the signees posited, adding that he sold and transferred all his shares and interests to Wells Property Development Company Limited for valuable consideration since 2018.

As such, Ayeni, the statement averred further, had not been involved or connected in any way with the management of the OMS since the time he sold his shares and resigned from the board. However, according to the management, when Ayeni became aware in September 2020 that Captain Okunbo had health issues and was undergoing treatment in London, he “has since then started making false claims that he is still a part of OMS.”

Ayeni was also accused of peddling misinformation to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, about the spending in OMS (a company he stopped having any ties with since 2018) without a full understanding of how security companies work in Nigeria. A top official of OMS said, “Ayeni has never been part of management so he never understood how we work. It is like questioning the security vote of a state. All he was interested in was money without caring about the company. The chairman loves Ayeni like a brother and was always there to protect him against all odds not knowing he was the real devil.”

The board of the company, the statement noted, has also passed a vote of confidence on Capt Okunbo but described Ayeni as “a meddlesome interloper who is seeking to blackmail Capt. Idahosa Wells Okunbo at this time of his ill-health for financial benefit.”

Therefore, the company’s stakeholders declared in the statement that they were compelled to issue the disclaimer to set the records straight and to prevent government agencies, clients of OMS and the general public from being misled by Ayeni’s “deliberate misrepresentation of facts” while advising him “to steer clear of OMS and its associated companies.”

Details of the transaction which have been brought to the public space, according to Counsel to Ayeni, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) remained shadowy, as a principal witness mentioned by Ayeni, Mr. Ned Nwoko, a former federal legislature from Delta State, who would have been a bastion supporting Ayeni’s story discredited his claims. On the surface, Okunbo and Nwoko maintain that almost every part of Ayeni’s narrative is flawed.

Falana blamed Okunbor for trying to pull a fast one on Ayeni, “Sometimes in July 2020, one of our client’s partners told him of a discrepancy which had been noticed in the accounting records leading to an unauthorised withdrawal of $10 million and $8 million, respectively.

“Capt. Hosa Okunbo had claimed to them that he had spent the sum to settle a Senate hearing on one of the subsidiary companies, the Secured Anchorage Area (SAA), and that $8 million was spent in the Presidency on the same issue because of the dispute between him and the Ministry of Transport/Nigerian Ports Authority, which our client considers to be unreasonable because the total annual profit achieved on the SAA was about $5 million.

“You will agree with our client that the claim that Capt. Hosa Okunbo spent $18 million on influence peddling without discussing it with our client amounts to diversion as it makes no sense at all. More so, that the story of the amount he claimed to have spent has continued to change by the day from $1 million to $2 million to $4 million to $6 million until he made them to input the records $10 million for the Senate hearing and $8 million for the Presidency.”

Another political angle that has resurrected with the Okunbo versus Ayeni face off is the definite tension that it is stoking in the vocal Ijaw ethnic nationality, whose respected leader and first Governor of Bayelsa State, the late Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha reportedly got the short end of the stick in a business transaction with Ayeni. Kinsmen of the late Ijaw patriot under the aegis of the Bayelsa Natives in Nigeria and the Diaspora, B.A.N.N.D, accused him in a recent widely circulated statement that despite all that the former governor did to empower Ayeni, he has only repaid him by maliciously lying on his memory and abandoning his family.

“It came to our notice that when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arrested Tunde Ayeni for withdrawing N29billion from Skye Bank, he lied to the agency that he gave the money as a bribe to our brother and illustrious son of the Niger Delta, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha. That is callous and gratuitous. At no time, as far as we know, did Chief Alamieyeseigha have that amount of money in any bank whether in Nigeria or abroad. He was a simple man of the people who gave back to the society that made him. He coveted no riches and he led a simple life.

“What Tunde Ayeni did was to just lie on a dead man who cannot defend himself. This is a betrayal of the friendship we are aware that they maintained while the former governor was alive. Ayeni merely played to the gallery and decided to call a dog a bad name in order to hang it. This is not what friendship is about. And we have no doubt that the man (the former governor) must be turning in his grave at this deliberate and disdainful desecration of his memory.”

Source: THISDAY

Sex and The City To Return For New Series, Without Samantha!

Sex and the City will be given a 2021 makeover, US streaming service HBO Max has announced.

Long-swirling rumours that the video-on-demand arm of the prestige TV brand was considering commissioning a revival of the 90s and 00s show were confirmed on Sunday night US time when three of the four stars of the original show, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis, shared a trailer for the series on social media platforms.

The reboot will be titled And Just Like That… and will be executive produced by Parker, Davis, Nixon, and Michael Patrick King.

Kim Cattrall, who played the fourth member of the original group, Samantha, will not be returning for the rebooted series.

First airing in 1998, Sex and the City orbited around fashion-obsessed sex and relationships newspaper columnist Carrie Bradshaw (Parker) and her three friends, Miranda (Nixon), Charlotte (Davis) and Samantha (Cattrall).

The show ran for six seasons, winning seven Emmys and eight Golden Globe awards.

Based on the book by author Candace Bushnell and created for TV by Darren Star, the series was praised for its forthrightness about sex and criticised for its lack of diversity and its flippant treatment of some issues. The main thrust of the plot focused on the on-again off-again relationship between Carrie and her main love interest, Mr Big.

Two feature films followed the TV series in 2004, both of which were written and directed by King. While they were commercially successful, they fared less well with critics, with Sex and the City 2 (2010) receiving a particularly scathing critical reception.

The trailer, comprised mainly of shots of New York, reveals little by way of story details for the new series. A statement from HBO Max’s parent company WarnerMedia announcing the reboot was similarly vague, saying the series would “follow Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte as they navigate the journey from the complicated reality of life and friendship in their 30s to the even more complicated reality of life and friendship in their 50s.”

Fans’ enthusiastic responses on Twitter and Instagram suggested there is still a sizeable audience for the show, while others suggested the show had dated.

The series will comprise of ten, half-hour episodes, and is scheduled to begin production in late spring in New York this year.

Again, Dele Momodu Slams Presidential Aide, Lauretta Onochie

The Boss Publisher, Bashorun Dele Momodu has responded to another unwarranted attack from Presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie

In a series of tweets, the famous publisher and former Presidential candidate wrote” Once again, my attention has been drawing to the tweets by a troublesome woman called Lauretta who claims to be working for President Muhammadu Buhari on social media but continues to attract public odium to the exalted office of the Nigerian President. Here’s my simple response.

“Lauretta is obviously peeved that I described her as a scavenger in the corridor of power. I stand by that assessment and assertion. If she has any iota of shame, she would’ve resigned after her nomination was sent to the national assembly, but rejected, as an INEC Commissioner.

“Lauretta was promptly and soundly rejected by a national assembly that is largely controlled by the ruling party APC and the shameless woman has no modicum of self-respect that would have enabled her show she can survive outside power, but NO, Buhari is her last HOPE in life!!!

“Lauretta now calls me a scavenger for doing my job professionally and objectively without any tinge of vindictiveness. Her reasons? I covered the Abachas, Atikus & others because I was hungry. Imagine such chicanery. A supposed media aide who doesn’t know the basic tenets of media!

“Lauretta, what have I done wrong by interviewing and interacting with fellow Nigerans? Apart from being a journalist, I was a Presidential candidate like your boss in 2011 and you should know that leaders interact with fellow leaders while their lackeys are busy breaking heads!

“Lauretta, have you forgotten that Abacha once served under Buhari but Buhari later served under Abacha when the tides changed. Buhari even praised Abacha to high heavens and said he was never corrupt! Please quote anywhere I ever praised Abacha! I covered a wedding like other media.

“Lauretta, have you forgotten that Buhari’s military government was toppled by Babangida in 1985 and they became sworn enemies. But this did not stop Buhari from visiting Babangida in Minna several times when he needed his endorsement. Yet a journalist cannot report newsmakers!!

“Lauretta, please be patient as I take you down memory lane since you were trying hard to eke a living abroad while we were busy fighting for the good of Nigeria. Buhari visited Obasanjo for endorsement despite their altercations in the past. Did he do so because he was scavenging!!

“Lauretta, you said I ran to England during the Abacha era but was I scavenging in England like you? By the grace of God, I managed to build a global brand and still found time to join hands with freedom fighters like, Soyinka, Akinrinade, Tinubu, Oyegun, Fayemi, Afikuyomi & others!

Lauretta, get a life. You are the biggest nuisance drawing negative vibes constantly to your boss. You dey lucky say Buhari no dey sack, you for don scatter since!!!

Nothing can surprise me. She’s trying hard to use me to prove how fanatical she is.”

Alaafin Postpones Indefinitely 50th Coronation Anniversary

The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, has postponed indefinitely his 50 years coronation anniversary in the aftermath of the ravaging coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This is contained in a statement he personally signed and issued to newsmen on Saturday.

Alaafin ascended the throne on Jan. 14, 1971, aged 31.

Although he had made adequate arrangements for an elaborate ceremony, the revered monarch said it was important to postpone the event.

He said that he had been able to convince his traditional cabinet of the need to postpone the event, as a sign of respect for the sanctity of human life.

“As usual, all those who know the importance of the Alaafin stool to the Yoruba nationhood, both at home and in the diaspora, had indicated their intention to be physically present on the occasion.

“Against the backdrop of the current global pandemic of COVID-19, I have got to make a rethink on the timing of the celebration.

“With very strong personal pain but with respect for the sanctity of human life, I have been able to convince my traditional cabinet (Oyomesi) of the need to postpone the event.

“The event is postponed till after the pandemic might have gone in no distant future,” he said.

Alaafin added that the logistics of effecting social distance rule and the need of harbouring visitors from abroad for the mandatory two weeks isolation informed the decision.

“Consequently, between personal interest and national interest, especially when it comes to the sanctity of human life, the choice is clear for any patriot.

“While regretting any inconveniences the postponement might have caused, the sanctity of human life is more important to me than any social engagement,” he said.

Tunde Ayeni Sold His Shares in OMS To Me For N2bn – Captain Hosa

Idahosa Okunbo, a business mogul, says Tunde Ayeni, former chairman of the board of directors, Skye Bank Plc, sold his shares in Ocean Marines Solutions Ltd (OMS), a company they founded, for N2 billion.

Ayeni had petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged forceful takeover of the company by Okunbo, his partner since 2003 whom he claimed had deceived him.
The former bank chairman asked the commission to investigate Okunbo for “gross mismanagement and criminal diversion of company funds”.
However, according to some documents released by Okunbo, Ayeni sold his shares at OMS — including shares held by Prime Union Investment Ltd, owned by Ayeni — to Wells Property Development Company, owned by Okunbo.

A special resolution document purportedly signed by shareholders of OMS, including Ayeni, Okunbo and one Garth Dooley, on August 2018, indicates that Ayeni agreed to sell his 5,000,000 ordinary shares on N1 each in OMS to Wells Property Development Company.
“That Prime Union Investment Limited has agreed to sell its 30,000,000 Ordinary shares of N1 each in Ocean Marine Solutions Limited to Wells Property Development Company Limited,” the document read.
“That Wells Property Development Company Limited has agreed to purchase the 35,000,000 Ordinary shares from both Dr. Olatunde john Ayeni and Prime Union Investment Limited including the shares held by Dr. Olatunde John Ayeni in other associated companies which consists of 37,200,000 Ordinary Shares held in PPPFM, 175,000,000 Ordinary Shares in GYRO (including the 50,000,000 Ordinary shares held by Mrs. Ayeni ) for the total sum of N2,000,000,000 (Two Billion Naira) only.

“That following the full and final payment by Wells Property Development Company Limited for the shares, that both Dr. Olatunde John Ayeni and Prime Union Investment Limited hereby transfer the total 35,000,000 Ordinary shares to Wells Property Development Company Limited devoid of any encumbrance.
“That the Company hereby approves the transfer of 5,000,000 Ordinary Shares held by Dr. Olatunde John Ayeni to Wells Property Development Company Limited. That the Company hereby approves the transfer of 30,000,000 Ordinary Shares held by Prime Union Investment Limited to Wells Property Development Company Limited.”
In a memo dated September 5, 2018, Okunbo informed Kunle Oyelakun, managing director of OMS, that the allowances and benefits attached to the shares sold off by Ayeni should subsequently be paid to his company, Wells Property.
“I write to inform you that Dr. Olatunde John Ayeni has sold all his shares (including shares held by Prime Union Investment Ltd) in OMS and Associated Companies to my company, Wells Property Development Company Limited for N2Billion (N2,000,000,000.00). Consequently, the allowances and benefits attached to the said shares previously enjoyed and paid to Tunde should now be paid to Wells Property Development Company Limited,” Okunbo said.

“However, in line with my agreement and understanding with Tunde, I would pay him the initial sum of N1Billion (N1,000,000,000.00) as first instalment. The balance of N1Billion (N1,000,000,000.00) would be paid in subsequent instalments for a period of two (2) years to effect the balance payment and provide additional support to Tunde.
“You are hereby directed that all allowances now due to Wells Property Development Company Limited following its acquisition of all Tunde’s shares in OMS and its associated companies, be paid to Tunde for a period of two years commencing from September, 2018 and terminating in September, 2020. Tunde shall furnish you with the designated bank account details where these allowances would be paid for the period.”
OMS: AYENI NO LONGER OUR DIRECTOR
In response to Ayeni’s petition to the EFCC, the management of OMS issued a statement on December 17 that the former Skye Bank boss is no longer a director and shareholder in the company.

The company stated that its board has passed a vote of confidence on Okunbo, describing Ayeni as a “meddlesome interloper”.
OMS added that its funds are intact and in good order while dispelling allegations of misappropriation.
“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,” the company said.
“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. [Or.] Idahosa Wells Okunbo in managing the affairs of the Company and the lofty heights to which he has taken the Company. The Company states unequivocally that it 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 Wells 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.”

With A Friend Like Tunde Ayeni…

By Olawale Olaleye

In the first week of November last year, Captain Idahosa Wells Okunbo reached out to his friend and business partner, Mr. Tunde Ayeni, a former chairman of the defunct Skye Bank, now Polaris Bank, and requested for a siting with his lawyers to address some pending issues since they had been into a few businesses together and a divorce had also become imperative.

Perhaps, the meeting would afford them the opportunity to address other concerns with respect to the Ocean Marine Solutions Limited, one of Captain Hosa’s major going concerns in which Ayeni had divested his interest over two years ago. To underscore his concern and intention, note that Captain Hosa sent the message below from his hospital bed in London.

The message read thus: “My dear brother, my first choice was always to sit with you and iron out any issues we may have, peacefully. However, the current reality between me being on my sickbed and the covid-19 protocols across the UK, that may seem impossible right now.

“I would appeal to you to please work with the team I have appointed to handle this peaceful transition, amicably. I will be very pleased to hear we are on the same page and by God’s grace at the end of this we will have no reason to regret anything.

“God bless”.

But Ayeni didn’t bother to dignify his friend with a decent response let alone show that he too wanted a seamless transition. But like Donald Trump, he went rogue. His response is the image attached to this article. Whatever that meant to him, you also didn’t have to have attended one of the best schools around the world to decode the message in the image to a sick person – a friend and business partner – on his hospital bed.

For the record, especially that not everyone might get to see the image, the inscribed message states: “When a bird is alive…it eats ants. When the bird has died…ants eat it. One tree can be made into a million matchsticks… But only one match is needed to burn a million trees! Circumstances can change at any time… Don’t devalue or hurt anyone in this life… You may be powerful today but time is more powerful than you!”

The interpretations deductible from this image, are legion. But you cannot also gloss over the expectation of the sender that his friend might not survive his current health challenge and therefore, it’s his turn to ‘shine’. In a life that is utterly transient?

With that response, it was clear to Captain Hosa that Ayeni had something up his sleeves and also determined to fight dirty, even when he had no reason to. But in all, the retired commercial pilot was confident that since facts supported by documents don’t lie, then, Ayeni and his cohort are as well welcome to the party.

It was not surprising, therefore, when Ayeni, who is yet to resolve his N29 billion palaver with the EFCC, wrote to the same commission and alleged mismanagement, stealing and diversion of funds from Ocean Marine Security Limited.

In the petition written by his counsel, Mr. Femi Fálànà (SAN), Ayeni gave what the undiscerning would have considered a vivid account of how Okunbo tried to scheme him out of the company, adding that he had since discovered “a lot of stealing and diversion as well as gross mismanagement of large sums of money belonging to the company,” in which he had since 2018 divested his interests.

Or, maybe we should ask: are people paid to hold on to their shares in a company or to divest them when agreed to? So, what’s Ayeni saying? Who manipulated ‘a grown ass man’ to sign papers, provide account details, where monies were paid and consent to other legal conditions in a pure business deal?

It’s more about a stinking reputation manifesting stealthily in this instance. OMSL didn’t have to sweat much defending the obvious. All the Captain had to do was provide the documents and it’s end of story. The documents are already out there as shared in the two posts before this and you too can tell, who is actually telling the truth.

What more, the account by Ned Nwoko, another billionaire, who was also mentioned in Ayeni’s letter has further put a lie to Ayeni’s narrative, when he stated that at no point in time “have I had any dealings with Ayeni or Ocean Marine Solutions in whatever capacity.”

Do you, therefore, need any more evidence to see through the lies and desperation of Ayeni? His reputation precedes him, arguably! And with a friend like Ayeni, you can’t afford to pray amiss.

Grand Betrayal: Tunde Ayeni, Fights Benefactor and Partner, Hosa Okunbo, Plots To Take Over His Company as He Battles Ill-Health

+ How He Sold off His OMS Shares

+ Ayeni claims he’s still a shareholder in Okunbo’s Ocean Marine Solutions after documents show he sold shares.

+ OMS management labels him “a meddlesome interloper”

Mere anarchy is about to be ‘loosed’ upon the Nigerian business circle as things have fallen apart between billionaire businessmen, Captain Idahosa Okunbo of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited, and his erstwhile friend and partner, Dr Tunde Ayeni, a former chairman of Skye Bank Plc. 

The bone of contention is the claims by Ayeni that he remains a shareholder at OMS despite documentary evidence showing he sold his shares in 2018. That was over two years ago. Alas, at a time when Okunbo is facing a health challenge and has been receiving treatment in a London hospital for the past three months, Ayeni has been churning out trump petitions and claims that he is still a shareholder in the company.

Before now, theirs was the kind of friendship many would say was made in heaven and consecrated here on earth. Despite the ten-year age and ethnic difference, Captain Hosa Okunbo, the billionaire philanthropist and businessman behind Ocean Marine Solutions Limited, and Dr Tunde Ayeni, former chairman of Skye Bank Plc, were like two peas in a pod; nocturnal and diurnal collaborators; and business partners. They rocked the socio-political and economic scenes like emperors. 

They rocked parties together and wearing same outfits was like second nature to them. They were inseparable and personified the aphorism that sincere friends of this world are as the lights of a ship on a stormy night; very essential; very indispensable.

Indeed, life is an irony. It is hard to fathom that a bowel that spews the deepest desires, often also emits the deadliest hate. Going by reports from their two privileged camps, the bond that existed between Capt Okunbo and Ayeni may have snapped irredeemably, confirming to the world that indeed, there is a thin line between love and hate. This is the story of how two friends are being torn apart by sheer greed and utter disrespect for the sanctity of friendship.

Incorporated in 2008 by Okunbo, OMS, a leading asset protection company dedicated to protecting Nigeria’s natural resources from graft and illegal activities, is also a foremost player in the global maritime industry. As the story goes, Okunbo, perhaps in a bid to expand his company’s operations and solidify his relationship with Ayeni, invited the latter on board and he reportedly snapped up about 35% stake.

However, after his unceremonious ouster from Skye Bank, owing to alleged money laundering and mismanagement of depositors’ funds, Ayeni approached Okunbo that he would like to sell off his shares and cease to be a director of OMS. Okunbo, who would never use gilded words to masque deceit or brandish fickle principles and statistics to conclude with a false truth, appealed to him to rescind his decision. But Tunde’s mind was already made up to sell off the shares. Documents show that Ayeni, using his company, Prime Union Investment Limited, specifically on August 15, 2018, agreed to sell his shares including the 175, 000, 000 ordinary shares in GYRO (and the 50, 000, 000 shares held by Mrs Ayeni) to Wells Property Development Company Limited for the total sum of N2bn (Two billion naira). 

A special resolution of the board of Prime Union Investment Limited, signed by Ayeni and his wife, Biola, confirmed the sale of shares mid-August 2018. Following this agreement, Capt. Okunbo, on November 26, 2018, duly authorised the transfer of N1billion to Ayeni’s Olutoyl Estate Development and Services Ltd’s Sterling Bank account. The balance was mutually agreed to be paid on a monthly instalment. 

The board of OMS went ahead to notify the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the Office of the Vice President per Ayeni’s resignation of his membership of the board of the OMS and its affiliate companies. While acknowledging the agreement in January 2019, the CBN stated, “Please, be informed that the resignation of Dr Ayeni from the board of your company does not in any way affect his liability, or that of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited or any of its subsidiaries/group members, to Skye Bank Plc (now Polaris Bank Limited) and, indeed, any other bank in Nigeria.”

Similarly, on March 1st, the Vice President, in an acknowledgement letter titled ‘Re: Notification of Resignation and Share Divestment of Dr Olatunde John Ayeni’ signed by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Ade Ipaye, applauded Capt. Okunbo’s renewed commitment to service in the agricultural, aviation and hospitality sectors of the economy, adding, “Your Company’s disclaimer as regards the said Dr. Ayeni’s activities as chairman of Skye Bank has been duly noted and brought to the attention of His Excellency, the Vice President.”

Interestingly, in a shocking volte-face after collecting his full balance, Ayeni, acutely aware of Okunbo’s illness and ongoing battle to stay alive, reportedly petitioned the EFCC through his lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, alleging that he sold his shares under duress and, therefore, wants more money. His premise, according to sources privy to the document, was that Okunbo is wealthy enough to pay him more from the company after he had collected the agreed N2billion. Surprisingly, Falana, a renowned human rights activist and lawyer, is said to have taken up Ayeni’s case in his bid to possess Okunbo’s business, in spite of his public posture as a defender of the defenceless looms large and someone whose crusade for social justice reverberates globally. The fact that a renowned lawyer like Femi Falana, SAN, would allow Ayeni to ride on his professional expertise and influence to perpetrate this unfolding injustice is as confusing as it conflicting. But wait a minute, if Ayeni was under duress to sell his shares, as he now allegedly claims, was his wife, Biola Ayeni, who co-signed, too? Unfortunately, Capt Okunbo is not in a position to fight for himself.

Thus, in a joint statement issued by the board, management and shareholders of OMS, Ayeni’s claims of still being a shareholder of the company were disproved. “Dr Olatunde John Ayeni is no longer a Director of OMS and any of its associated companies having resigned from OMS since August 2018,” the signees posited, adding that he sold and transferred all his shares and interests to Wells Property Development Company Limited for valuable consideration since 2018.

As such, Ayeni, the statement averred further, had not been involved or connected in any way with the management of the OMS since the time he sold his shares and resigned from the board. However, according to the management, when Ayeni became aware in September 2020 that Captain Okunbo had health issues and was undergoing treatment in London, he “has since then started making false claims that he is still a part of OMS.” 

Ayeni was also accused of peddling misinformation to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, about the spending in OMS (a company he stopped having any ties with since 2018) without a full understanding of how security companies work in Nigeria. A top official of OMS said, “Ayeni has never been part of management so he never understood how we work. It is like questioning the security vote of a state. All he was interested in was money without caring about the company. The chairman loves Ayeni like a brother and was always there to protect him against all odds not knowing he was the real devil.”

The board of the company, the statement noted, has also passed a vote of confidence on Capt Okunbo but described Ayeni as “a meddlesome interloper who is seeking to blackmail Capt. Idahosa Wells Okunbo at this time of his ill-health for financial benefit.” 

Therefore, the company’s stakeholders declared in the statement that they were compelled to issue the disclaimer to set the records straight and to prevent government agencies, clients of OMS and the general public from being misled by Ayeni’s “deliberate misrepresentation of facts” while advising him “to steer clear of OMS and its associated companies.”

Curiously, however, “Money, of course, is never just money. It’s always something else, and it’s always something more, and it always has the last word,” said Paul Auster, U.S. writer. Aster’s words bring to mind the wisdom of late German economist and philosopher, Karl Marx. Speaking of money, Marx said: “It is the common whore, the common procurer of people and nations.” These profound summations no doubt speak to the vanity and greed of Ayeni.

People are asking questions why Ayeni always fights his partners and friends over money. You couldn’t have forgotten so soon how his friend and ex-Bond Bank chief, John Darlington, vowed to take him down. In an interview with BusinessDay, Darlington claimed that Ayeni betrayed and repeatedly cheated him of his dues but Ayeni’s apologists argue otherwise, contending that he had always offered a helping hand to Darlington and not the other way round. Also, kinsmen of late Chief Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha under the aegis of the Bayelsa Natives in Nigeria and the Diaspora, B.A.N.N.D, accused him of the same thing. In a widely circulated statement recently, the group said they were aghast that despite all that the former governor did to empower Ayeni, he has only repaid him by maliciously lying on his memory and abandoning his family.

“It came to our notice that when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arrested Tunde Ayeni for withdrawing N29billion from Skye Bank, he lied to the agency that he gave the money as a bribe to our brother and illustrious son of the Niger Delta, Chief Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha. That is callous and gratuitous. At no time, as far as we know, did Chief Alamieyeseigha have that amount of money in any bank whether in Nigeria or abroad. He was a simple man of the people who gave back to the society that made him. He coveted no riches and he led a simple life.

“What Tunde Ayeni did was to just lie on a dead man who cannot defend himself. This is a betrayal of the friendship we are aware that they maintained while the former governor was alive. Ayeni merely played to the gallery and decided to call a dog a bad name in order to hang it. This is not what friendship is about. And we have no doubt that the man (the former governor) must be turning in his grave at this deliberate and disdainful desecration of his memory.”

The group declared that its investigations at the EFCC showed that after his initial grandstanding, Ayeni sang like a bird to investigators and went on a lying spree against prominent dead Nigerians including Alamieyeseigha. “He lied that he gave N29billion to Alamieyeseigha as a bribe but we found out that it was part of the money that he diverted to buy NITEL and MTEL which he renamed NTEL. He was using NTEL’s assets to offset his indebtedness to the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, in a classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul,” the statement posited.

The B.A.N.N.D further stated that beyond the egregious lie of Ayeni, they were astounded that since Alamieyeseigha’s death, he has turned his back on his benefactor’s family, which it described as “grave sin against man and God. He was never there for the family even when he could have. We are sure that at the appropriate time, representatives of the family will address their grouse with him.” The group further stated that they were not surprised at Ayeni’s capricious about-face; “It is his stock-in-trade. It is why those he calls his friends are wary of having any business or personal dealing with him because there is no atom of loyalty in his veins.”

Serial Blackmailer: How Tunde Ayeni Betrayed His Partner and Benefactor, Hosa Okunbo




+ Documents Show How He Sold Off His OMS Shares

+ OMS Management Labels Him “A Meddlesome Interloper”


Fate might have provided enough to satisfy Tunde Ayeni, the disgraced chairman of Skye Bank’s needs, but not enough, in retrospect, for his greed. It is that inherent greed and penchant for treachery that has turned Ayeni into a pariah in the Nigerian business circle as many would rather deal with the devil himself than him.
Many years back, Ayeni grovelled at the feet of the billionaire philanthropist, Capt Hosa Okunbo, chairman of the Ocean Marine Solutions Limited, Nigeria’s leading asset protection company dedicated to protecting her natural resources from graft and illegal activities. And the avuncular man of means literally took him under his wings, showing him the tricks to better his lot and buoy his relevance.
Later, he offered Ayeni shares in his company valued then at about $600, 000. The relationship between the two was further solidified or so people thought. But since Capt Okunbo fell sick and has been receiving treatment in a London hospital, Ayeni, who many thought would be his bed-side cheerleader and comforter at this crucial time, is reportedly the one spreading rumours of his death and firing petitions after petitions claiming that he owns OMS.
Ayeni’s desperation is understandable and not totally surprising to those who know his antecedents in the Nigerian business circle. After falling from grace to grass in 2016 with his mismanagement of Skye Bank Plc’s depositors’ funds which led to his unceremonious ouster, documents show that Ayeni, using his company, Prime Union Investment Limited, specifically on August 15, 2018, agreed to sell his shares, including the 175, 000, 000 ordinary shares in GYRO (and the 50, 000, 000 shares held by Mrs Ayeni) to Wells Property Development Company Limited for the total sum of N2bn (Two billion naira).
A special resolution of the board of Prime Union Investment Limited, signed by Ayeni and his wife, Biola, confirmed the sale of shares. Following this agreement, Capt. Okunbo, on November 26, 2018, duly authorised the transfer of N1billion to Ayeni’s Olutoyl Estate Development and Services Ltd’s Sterling Bank account. The balance was mutually agreed to be paid on a monthly instalment.
The board of OMS went ahead to notify the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the Office of the Vice President per Ayeni’s resignation of his membership of the board of the OMS and its affiliate companies. While acknowledging the agreement in January 2019, the CBN stated, “Please, be informed that the resignation of Dr Ayeni from the board of your company does not in any way affect his liability, or that of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited or any of its subsidiaries/group members, to Skye Bank Plc (now Polaris Bank Limited) and, indeed, any other bank in Nigeria.”
Similarly, the Vice President in an acknowledgement letter signed by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Ade Ipaye, applauded Capt. Okunbo’s renewed commitment to service in the agricultural, aviation and hospitality sectors of the economy while adding, “Your Company’s disclaimer as regards the said Dr. Ayeni’s activities as chairman of Skye Bank has been duly noted and brought to the attention of His Excellency, the Vice President.”
Two years after, with Okunbo battling to stay alive, Ayeni, in a shocking volte-face, petitioned the EFCC through his lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, alleging that he sold his shares under duress and, therefore, wants more money. His jejune premise was that Okunbo is wealthy enough to pay him more from the company after he had collected completely the agreed N2billion.

However, the question that begs for answer is, if Ayeni claimed he was forced to sell his shares under duress, was his wife, Abiola who co-signed, also made to do so too? A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on but what is obvious from available documents is that Ayeni is just up to his old tricks.
In a joint statement issued by the board, management and shareholders of OMS, Ayeni’s claims of still being a shareholder of the company have been disclaimed. “Dr Olatunde John Ayeni is no longer a Director of OMS and any of its associated companies having resigned from OMS since August 2018,” the signees posited, adding, “that Ayeni sold and transferred all his shares and interests to Wells Property Development Company Limited for valuable consideration since 2018.”
As such, Ayeni, the statement averred further, had not been involved or connected in any way with the management of the OMS since the time he sold his shares and resigned from the board. However, according to the management, when Ayeni became aware in September 2020 that the chairman of OMS, Captain Idahosa Wells Okunbo had health issues and was undergoing treatment in London; “He has since then started making false claims that he is still a part of OMS.”
The board of the company, the statement noted, has also passed a vote of confidence on Capt Okunbo but described Ayeni as “a meddlesome interloper who is seeking to blackmail Capt. Idahosa Wells Okunbo at this time of his ill-health for financial benefit.”
The statement declared that the company’s stakeholders were compelled to issue the disclaimer to set the records straight and to prevent government agencies, clients of OMS and the general public from being misled by Ayeni’s deliberate misrepresentation of facts while advising him “to steer clear of OMS and its associated companies.”