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Monday, 14 November 2011

MIKE ADENUGA IN N2.6BILLION PENSION FRAUD!


MIKE ADENUGA IN N2.6BILLION PENSION FRAUD!
The dream of every worker is to one day retire and enjoy the benefits accrue after his or her many years of active service. Every worker desires a life of ease and relaxation after retirement. Perhaps this is how best to describe the alleged decision of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Conoil branch to plan a massive protest any moment from now. The Union, going by the latest information at our disposal is planning a show down for their former boss, Otunba Mike Adenuga for allegedly denying them their rights. The oil and telecommunications guru, according to detailed investigation owes the union which had worked throughout their active years before being dismissed unceremoniously leaving a debt of a whopping N2.5 billion as pension to be paid. This fund, we gathered was set up for the staff by Shell West Africa the former owner of the company before the government compulsorily acquired 60% of the company in 1995 and later sold it as National Oil in year 2000 to Mike Adenuga.  The pensioners according to a reliable source, while in office, had written to the then Director General of BPE, Mrs. Irene Chigbue alerting her of a costly mistake of not separating the pension trust fund from the asset of the company intimating her that the fund is independent of the company and Adenuga who had no welfare scheme in place in any of his companies would not be an ideal person to manage their funds but were allegedly ignored. They are billed to stage a massive protest at the Otunba Adenuga’s private office on Oko-Awo this Monday, 14th of November 2011. Mike Adenuga who was also alleged to have sacked the whole staff he met on ground less than two years after (including the trustees of the fund) simply because he hated the idea of having unions in his company. They were said to have described his arrival in the then National Oil as the beginning of sorrow for the 500 odd pensioners remaining on his payroll and allegedly even refused to release the said fee after dismissing them unceremoniously. This wicked act, our source revealed compelled the pensioners to drag Mike Adenuga to court in 2008 to release his stranglehold on their fund since the money does not belong to his company. This according to the source, will enable the pensioners distribute the balance in the fund as they deem fit.
Because of the attendant bad publicity the case will generate for him and his company, Otunba Mike Adenuga, the source squealed quickly agreed to settle with the pensioners without the case going for any redress in the open court. The pensioners, according to the source made the mistake of their lives thinking they could trust Adenuga to honour any gentleman agreement reached.
The Lagos high court, the highly dependable source further explained appointed a senior judge to be the arbiter in the matter. The negotiation lasted more than 30 months at the Mediation Centre of the Lagos High Court before an agreement was finally reached in January 2011.
After having made the pensioners signed an undertaking not to go to court, and after the senior judge in charge, his lawyers, the Pensioners’ lawyers and their representatives had signed the agreement of payment of the N2.5 billion, Adenuga allegedly refused to append his signature to the said MoU. This, we gathered compelled the court to writing two strong letters to warn Otunba Adenuga when it became obvious all he wanted was a negotiation without end.
Eleven members of the 500 pensioners, the source revealed had died as at the last count since the negotiation started. Adenuga’s lawyers, according to him always come to court singing the same song of not being able to see the Otunba. This, we learnt has been the trend for the past ten months despite each party in the negotiation reaching an agreement on how to disburse the balance in the fund. It is either Adenuga’s daughter is getting married or EFCC has invited the man to Abuja or one excuse or the other. The Judge according to our source even had to ask on one occasion if Adenuga had become a tin god that mere mortal couldn’t see.
Mike Adenuga in January this year, 2011 after several refusals to come to court or release the said fund, according to the source through his lawyers and before the court appointed-judge in attendance agreed, to pay the pensioners N1.033 billion out of the audited N2.6 billion balance in the pension trust fund. The pensioners, we learnt agreed out of fear that many of them may never see the colour of the money in their lifetime if they insisted on the N2.6 billion in the account. The Pensioners, we gathered started smelling foul play when ten months after, (last October 2011) are still waiting for the money.
This, according to the source resulted into the union holding a meeting on the 1st of November 2011 at the Eagle Club and their resolve was to storm Mike Adenuga Tower on 18A Oko-Awo close, Victoria Island Lagos come 14th of November 2011 with Jeremiah Ajibola Oluti Sr. as the leader since Adenuga had reneged on the agreement and this time no more interested in his offer of N1.033 billion but the real amount N2.6 billion that is in the audited account. Meanwhile the source explained that the Shell Group established The Shell Pension Scheme under its original name of Shell West Africa Staff Non-contributory Pension Fund on 1st January 1952. They registered the scheme with the Ministry of Trades now Corporate Affairs Commission as a TRUST SCHEME for the company’s employees on retirement. It remained a non-contributory scheme funded solely by the Shell Group when it was in control. When the Federal Government compulsorily acquired 60% of the company in the wake of 1975 indigenization decree, the government retained the scheme. He, revealed that the  Shell Group Pension Scheme that Conoil inherited in 2000 is still on in Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) because it has been in existence for more than 50 years.
It was revealed that Conoil has not added any value to the fund since its arrival in National Oil in the year 2000. Mike Adenuga we further gathered ignored the statutory requirement that he contributes a certain percentage of the company’s gross profit to the pension fund before declaring profit after tax. The pension account into which Conoil allegedly never contributed a kobo since it took it over, the source revealed has a balance of over two billion naira (both liquid and fixed asset). The fund, we gathered has been a source of easy and interest free fund for Mike Adenuga who has been running it according to his whims and caprices since then.
Investigating further, an insider in the company disclosed that Mike Adenuga, when he took over as the core investor in National Oil in 2000 allegedly suspended the 12% annual pension increase approved by the fund since October 1994. According to him, it did not bother the man that 71.96% of Conoil pensioners are earning between N3,360 and N7,499 at a time when minimum wages in Nigeria has gone beyond N10, 000 which is now N18,000.00. Otunba Mike Adenuga, the source continued did not care about Federal government directives on harmonization of fringe benefits with basic salary when calculating Pensions [govt. directive of 30th Jan. 1997, 11th May 1999 and 6th July 1999]. These ridiculous earnings remain today after 10 years of Conoil misadventure in the once vibrant company called National Oil without a kobo increase!
In our facts finding mission, we tried to get in touch with some of the top staff at the Otunba Mike Adenuga owned Globacom for their side of story but as usual they kept a sealed mouth probably because the matter is bigger than them and they don’t know how to inquire from the generalissimo who’s always right. They didn’t pick our calls anyway but we send text messages to Bode Opeseyitan, the media director on 08055570312 and also another top flight staff on 08055570327

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