Reactions have continued to trail Tuesday’s revelation by Billionaire investor, Femi Otedola who claimed that the Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Tony Elumelu, betrayed his trust after going into business with him in 2005.
Otedola said Elumelu took over his investment in UBA and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), went through the backdoor to acquire his shares in Transnational Corporation (Transcorp), as well as hijacked his investment idea to buy the Ughelli Power Plant.
Recall that Otedola brought about 6 per cent of Transcorp shares in April to take control of Transcorp shares, but Elumelu responded by increasing his stake from 2 per cent to 25.5 per cent to take back control of the company.
Reports later circulated in late April that Otedola had agreed to sell his stake to Elumelu after the intervention of mutual friends.
Mr. Otedola and Mr. Elumelu’s Transcorp affair dates back to about 16 years ago when the former was the chairman of the company and Elumelu was the MD/CEO of Standard Trust Bank.
Reacting to the development, a Twitter user identified as @novoafricano said: “FO is telling stories. He owed UBA money and refused to surrender his AFC shares as collateral for a long while until UBA dispatched the Energy Bank head and one other person to meet up with him in London as he claimed he was running from Aliko who wanted to assassinate him”.
Another Twitter user identified as @jeomaltd also reacted to the post saying:
“Everything that has the beginning with rich Nigerians always has a bad end. Otedola has been cruising on his father’s corrupt money. People’s blood went on that money. So it’s Otedola’s time today, it might be Tony tomorrow depending on how he makes his money”.
Similarly, a tweet identified as @BigPapysmall said they are the Nigerian Oligarchs that buy and sell state-owned resources.
“These guys are the Nigerian Oligarchs who buy and sell state-owned resources at a giveaway fee. This is no news, it’s a family business just like the MRS deal between Dantata, Otedola, and Chevron”.
Another Twitter user identified as @Victoriaascert1 said this is Femi’s account and Tony’s side has not been heard.
“The world of business is unfortunately a shark-infested red ocean where dogs eat dogs & only the most brutal & ruthless survive. This is Fem’s account & Tony’s side of the story has not been heard. But this is the playbook in the corporate biz world & Femi is also not a saint”.
A tweet identified as @ChukwumaOliver2 said: Oh yeah. The plot is thickening. Gradually, it’s moving from the zero-sum game politics of Nigeria to the business & economic sphere. In this game, altruism is slaughtered on the slab of greed, selfishness, betrayals, animus, dog-eat-dog. Tony Elumelu can only be cautious from May 29, 2023”.
In his own comment, David Adonri, Executive Vice Chairman of Hicap Securities Limited, said that the conflict of interest has crept into their interpersonal business relationship.
“Femi Otedola, Tony Elumelu, Jim Ovia, and Aliko Dangote are friends and have an interpersonal business relationship. My advice is that their leader , Dangote, should intervene and settle their differences before it starts hurting the capital market,” he said.