Due to incessant allegation by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that President Muhammadu Buhari’s family has ownership of shares in the Etisalat Nigeria and Keystone Bank, a group of investors in Lagos State, under the leadership of Mr. Michael Akekehgon, has condemned the claim, saying sale of both institutions followed due processes with the involvements of industry’s regulators.
For instance, after about a year of back and forth struggle, process of selecting a preferred bidder for the sale of 9Mobile, formerly Etisalat, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) jointly, in their roles as regulators, opted for an innovative approach to deal with a distressed company – 9mobile operated by Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services Limited (EMTS) which its predecessor, Mubadala Group, Etisalat International brand pulled out of the country due to massive debt.
Speaking further, the serial investor, Mr. Akekehgon informed the media that the CBN in collaboration with the NCC, had in July 2017 appointed a Board of Directors chaired by Dr. Joseph Nnanna, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, to oversee the affairs of the company pending the completion of regulatory due diligence of the bid documents submitted by Teleology and sixteen others for its acquisition. He explained that Barclays Africa superintended the bid process, adding that there was no way the sale process could have been doctored as claimed by the PDP, because the entire procedures were open and plain, hence, the emergence of Teleology Nigeria Limited, who has since completed payment of $301 million to acquire 9Mobile.
He however advised the aggrieved persons, group or political parties to approach appropriate agencies to verify their claims.
“Whoever that is in doubt of the ownership structure of both Etisalat and Keystone Bank, have the liberty to verify his or her claim at the CAC.
“In fact, the last payment of $251.1 million to complete the total sum of $301 million to perfect the full takeover of the mobile network operator was sourced from Afreximbank,” he said.
The new owner of 9mobile had said: “Teleology is pleased to announce the constitution of a new Board of Directors for Nigeria’s multi-award-winning telecommunication company, 9mobile, following the successful completion of the tenure of the former Board appointed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and in fulfillment of the consequential transfer of final ownership to the new investors, Teleology Nigeria Limited.” “We thank all out-going members of the Board for helping to shepherd 9mobile through the critical transition phase it has passed through since July 2017 and wishes them the very best in their future assignments.
“For us, the composition of the new Board of Directors is another significant milestone, and this follows the issuance of final approval of no objection by the Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to the effect that the technical and financial bids Teleology submitted for 9mobile met and satisfied all the regulatory requirements. This is indeed the dawn of a new era in the evolution of the 9mobile brand in the Nigerian market”, it added.
The new Board of Directors of the telecommunication company are Nasiru Ado Bayero, Chairman; Asega Aliga, Non-Executive Director; Adrian Wood, Non-Executive Director; Mohammed Edewor, Non-Executive Director; Winston Ndubueze Udeh, Non-Executive Director; Abdulrahman Ado, Executive Director and Stephane Beuvelet, Acting Managing Director.
Similarly, the new owners of Keystone Bank who were referred as a Consortium of local investors called Sigma Golf Nigeria Limited and Riverbank Investment Resources announced transitional governance arrangement that include new Board Chairman; Acting Managing Director/CEO; Executive Director and two Non-Executive Directors. The lender, which had since 2017 handed over transitional governance arrangement that include new Board Chairman; Acting Managing Director/CEO; Executive Director and two Non-Executive Directors. The lender, which had since 2017 handed over officially to its new owner by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), has since named transition board team including new Board Chairman, Alhaji Umaru H. Modibbo, Hafiz Bakare, a Non-Executive Director; Titilayo Tairat Adebiyi; Mr. Dan-Habu, and Mrs. Isichei who was the then Executive Director in-charge of Operations and Technology at Keystone Bank Limited.