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.
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.