Dede Mabiaku Blast Tunde Ayeni Over Campaign Of Calumny Against Cpt. Hosa

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This world is indeed a very wicked one with men garbed in treachery stalking and hunting for innocent victims. Nigeria’s news media has been awash with stories of how Tunde Ayeni has turned around to betray his erstwhile benefactor, Captain Hosa who is currently battling ill-health. One of Captain Hosa’s close friends and ‘brother’ Dede Mabiaku has unveiled a can of worms and promised to come out with an explosive video to tell the world the manner of the character of the person called Tunde Ayeni. Dede is not just concerned with Tunde Ayeni but also names Lawrence Omo-Aligbe Aligbe who once acted as Captain Hosa’s lawyer and film maker, Jeta Amata as a group of traitors who have now banded with Tunde Ayeni. Dede explains how he took Jeta Amata to Captain Hosa when Jeta approached him with the film script which was to feature some Hollywood stars. Captain Hosa bought into the idea and invested about $300,000 on the project. However, along the line, Amata was able to convince Captain Hosa to do business with him along the line of distribution. Dede narrated how Ayeni who was not a part of the deal until then, joined the trio in America and somehow swindled his way into the project. He also said Lawrence Omo-Aligbe, who he described as a known snitch was part of the trip because the initial lawyer who should have been with the team, Efere Ozako was down with an ailment. “Moji,” Dede thundered on the phone, “I have been boiling since yesterday. Tunde Ayeni sold his shares of the company to Hosa, I am privy to the fact. “These are characters who have benefited immensely from Captain Hosa and are now running a smear campaign on him, at his lowest moment on his sick bed. “Hosa and I attended the same secondary school back in Delta State. We were always together. He was like my own father ‘s child, we were always in the house and my father loved him. You can imagine how angry I am that those who benefited immensely from his largesse are the ones now trying to take over his business investments.” “I was the one who suggested Lawrence should be on that trip, after an acquaintance assured me he had changed his ways. We both attended the University of Benin where he was known to be of very low character”. ” I will tell you that I had to join them in America when Amata began exhibiting some traits.” Dede says he met Tunde Ayeni when he joined them on that trip and instantly told Hosa that there was something about the man that “did not gel with me.” Tunde and I had a small blow out on that occasion. On that trip, many things happened. At this point, Dede names a top American musician (name withheld) who brought a fake contract. “Lawrence perhaps at the behest of Tunde took the contract to the company and almost got everyone into big trouble and that’s how that deal was lost”. Dede promised to come out with a video as soon as tomorrow. Which would tell a better story. However, it is pertinent to note some of his disclosures, Jeta Amata allegedly squandered over a million dollars of Captain Hosa’s money on frivolities which included gambling in Las Vegas. Quoting Dede again: “Moji I can tell you for free that it was Captain Hosa who brought this treacherous character called Tunde Ayeni back to shore when his ship was sinking, saved his sinking life. As for Lawrence, he had already stolen over $200,000 of Captain Hosa’s money before he came back and I was told he was ‘born again, repented”. Dede continued: “This is a man who Captain gave about N10m or so when his house got burnt. Captain kept him in America all expenses paid for over one year. To think he is the one conniving with Tunde Ayeni to betray Hosa makes my blood boil”. According to Dede :”To know who a man really is, first visit his town. I drove to Tunde Ayeni’s hometown somewhere in Aiyetoro at the behest of Captain Hosa when the ingrate was burying his brother. He built one palatial nonsense of a house, probably inhabited by rats and lizards. He had another nine bungalows for friends’ lodging, in a town where there was no light, no good roads, no quality school. A big man is someone who has people and not someone who surrounds himself with money”. After all Captain Hosa did for these characters, Tunde Ayeni and the others, they start this high level of ingratitude towards him. “I wish they die a slow death. They are the most heartless ‘bastards’ on earth. Slimy things starting a smear campaign when they are the worms themselves. They can buy the whole of the press, Moji. For some of us it’s not about money. They shall meet me.” Dede promises an explosive tell all video soon. This is the story that prompted Dede to speak out. As one who has followed with keen interest the business activities of Capt Hosa Okunbo, his business associates in the last few years, both past and present, and Iike many well-meaning Nigerians who know how well he (Hosa) has successfully built his business empire with a hard-earned reputation, I feel obliged to respond to a recent publication being circulated both on print and online news mediums bothering on a petition by a former chairman of the defunct Skye Bank (now Polaris Bank), Mr Tunde Ayeni, against the person of Captain Hosa Okunbo. In the petition written by his counsel, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), Ayeni, who had alleged that Okunbo tried to scheme him out of a company he is a shareholder in, was said to have dragged his former business partner, Captain Hosa Okunbo, to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over what he alleged to be mismanagement, stealing and diversion of funds from the company –Ocean Marine Security Limited. Who would have thought that a man like Mr Ayeni who led a bank to a state of bankruptcy would resurface from the blue in an attempt to stir up another circle of controversy, to yet again put himself on the spotlight for God knows why? Mr. Ayeni had alleged 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.” To which company was Mr. Ayeni making reference to? Can a man be robbed of what does not belong to him? Perhaps, this might be a desperate business gambit to recast discredited accusations that was buried a long time ago. For any descerning mind who has followed the business relationship between Captain Hosa and Mr Ayeni, and who has also taken the time to read the so called petition, this will amounts to nothing but a smear attempt to drag the name of a respected business man into the mud with what could be best described as cosmetic lies. For the avoidance of doubt, let’s put the record straight based on the history of Ocean Marine Security Limited, available documents, transactions and the current status of the company in Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), as clearly defined by the Company and Alliance Act and its. Again, let it be reiterated that Captain Hosa has over the years maintained a clean business portfolio in conformity with local and foreign laws and will continue to uphold this principle, as this alone has seen him progressed in the business world in the last decades. It is true that Mr Ayeni was in 2007 one of the shareholders of the company alongside Captain Hosa, Joe Aikhomu, represented by his father, Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, and Gareth Dooley who all came together to form the body, which was later named Ocean Marine Solutions Limited. As the years went by and circumstances took a better part of it, changes ensued, shares changed hands and Hosa at a point became the Chairman of the company after that death of Aikhumo. But the highlight of Ayeni’s troubles started in 2016 when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) took over Skye Bank Plc, now Polaris Bank Limited over its inability to meet the regulator’s minimum key liquidity and capital adequacy ratios. This suggested the bank was already on the verge of folding up due to the huge debt Ayeni at the time in question had plunged it into. In a letter written to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the new management of Skye Bank had detailed how its former MD, Tunde Ayeni, used his position to destroy the Bank in 6 years of being in charge (2010-2016). The new management of the bank led by Muhammad Ahmad as the new chairman and Adetokunbo Abiru as group managing director (GMD) had in a letter to Professor Osinbajo, explained just how Ayeni allegedly used loans from the bank to acquire major government companies. Recalled that Mr. Ayeni was also invited by the Vice President to give an account of allegations of misappropriation leveled against him. Charges were filed against him at both the Federal High Court and the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja. From 2017-2019 investigations were carried out, which was premised on a 2017 petition regarding infractions by the previous Board and Management of Skye Bank under Ayeni forwarded from the Office of the Vice-President, Federal Republic of Nigeria. In the course of the investigation, Tunde Ayeni was invited by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and he volunteered in a statement confirming the withdrawal of 29.5 billion naira cash from Skye Bank. Ayeni, who was this time a subject of discussion and object of criticism in the country, promised to refund the said funds to the bank and further claimed to have interest in Ocean Marine Limited. Further investigation was extended to the Corporate Affairs Commission where it was discovered that Dr. Tunde Ayeni had on the 8th 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 Limited, a subsidiary of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited. The investigation, therefore, revealed that Dr. Tunde Ayeni was no longer a Director and shareholder of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited and PPP Fluid Mechanics Limited has since sold his entire shares and resigned his appointment as Director and Shareholder of the companies. Consequent upon the foregoing, the Commission’s investigation so far did not indict the Chairman of Ocean Marines Solutions and its subsidiary companies, Capt. Idahosa Wells Okunbo on any wrongdoing as alleged by Tunde Ayeni. So, at what point did Olatunde John Ayeni again became a Director of OMS and any of its Associated Companies having sold his shares and resigned from OMS since August 2018? It beats one’s imagination that a respected Senior Advocate of Nigeria, in the person of Femi Falana, would be allowed himself to be misled by Mr Ayeni whose records as a manager of a new generation bank were dishonorable. Ayeni’s allegations and innuendos against Captain Wells Hosa are baseless and repugnant. In my view, they are designed to impugn his character, tarnish his image, and lower his esteem in the eyes of his business associates, admirers, well-wishers and the general public. Having lost almost everything out of recklessness and lack of financial prudent, rather than focus on how to bounce back, Ayeni appears to be looking for soft targets among his former associates. He has also extended his malicious campaign to Mr Ned Nwoko, one of Nigerian finest businessman and politician, who he had also claimed to have dealings with Ocean Marine Limited. While Ned Nwoko has described Mr Ayeni’s statement as malicious, the Board of OMS has also said it has implicit and unshaken confidence in Capt. (Dr.) Idahosa Wells Okunbo in managing the affairs of the company and the lofty heights to which he has taken the company. The moment 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, he had since then started making false claims over the ownership of OMS. The good news is that the company has stated unequivocally that its accounts are in the good and correct order and its funds are intact and not missing, misappropriated, or otherwise mismanaged as alleged by Mr Ayeni who in the first instance has no locus standi to ask for poke into the affairs of a company he has no investment in. While it is within Ayeni’s right as a citizen of this great nation to seek redress where it is necessary, but it is absurd to seek for one where it doesn’t exist. Falana (SAN) holds his client the responsibility to take him into the closet and ask him certain questions bordering on his true state of mind to avoid what could latter appear to lead him into ethical pitfalls. We have all heard horror stories from the legal trenches of clients giving the wrong information to their counsels, who they later ended up embarrassing in the count room. Lawyers are stewards of their clients’ most sensitive and personal information. They serve as officers of the court and are in positions of public trust. But failure to hold up to these high standards can lead to steep falls, and a lawyer who doesn’t carefully mind ethics obligations can quickly run afoul of the rules of professional responsibility. Having studied the several investigations carried out since 2016 when Ayeni was sacked as Sky Bank MD, to the best of my knowledge, Ayeni has placed on Femi Falana a serious ethical and moral burden. It is a temptation Falana must do everything possible not to fall to no matter how attractive the cheques are.

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