A group of investors in Lagos State has denied claims that members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s family own shares in Etisalat Nigeria and Keystone Bank, declaring that the allegation was false.
Also, the group said the sale of both companies followed due process, with the involvement of industry regulators, while members of the board of directors are known.
The denial is coming on the heels of allegation by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that Buhari’s family members have shares in the communication company and the bank.
A statement by the group’s leader, Michael Akekehgon, said the investors had said during the selection of a preferred bidder for 9mobile, formerly Etisalat, that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) “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.”
He said CBN, in collaboration with NCC, in July 2017 appointed a Board of Directors chaired by Dr. Joseph Nnanna, the Deputy Governor of CBN, to oversee the affairs of the company, pending the completion of regulatory due diligence of the bid documents submitted by Teleology and others for its acquisition.
Akekehgon 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 has the liberty to verify his or her claim at the CAC,” he said.
He revealed that 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 ownership of Etisalat is know as the information about the board of directors are in public domain.
New Board of Directors of the telecommunication company is made up of 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.”
On Keystone Bank, he said a consortium of local investors named Sigma Golf Nigeria Limited and Riverbank Investment Resources announced transitional governance arrangement that includes; 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.”