Open Letter To The Acting Chairman Of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, By Oyema Bamawo
Firstly, permit me to congratulate you on your relentless battle against corruption and corruptive practices that have assumed endemic proportions in all facets of the Nigerian society. There is no gainsaying the fact that you have taken the fight to the purveyors of the societal blight that has almost ruined the Nigerian economy and is subjecting the average Nigerian citizen to unbearable existence.
My prayers for you, as you superintend this epochal milestone in the fight against corruption in Nigeria, is that God will continue to be with you for divine direction and protection.
A necessity is laid upon me to bring to your immediate attention the calculated and fraudulent acts of one Mr. Amadin Aideyan, that has left a once-thriving and largest bookshop on the West African coast, desolate, stripped and financially-decapitated. This is in the firm hope and expectation that you, in keeping with your acclaimed disposition for fair-play, due diligence and integrity, will not allow the perpetration of monumental acts of fraud, bad business practices forgery and injustice to be entrenched in the system as the norm and convention.
The backdrop of this petition and appeal , are as follow:
(a) Mr. Samuel Aivinhenyutomwen Aideyan established what was then known as Aideyan Brothers Bookshop in 1953, in Benin City, then a part of the old Western Region.
In its own sector of business, Aideyan Brothers Bookshop earned its leading position along the West African sub-region due to its large stock of diverse and affordable office, educational and printers’ supplies and sports goods.
(b) Mr. S.A. Aideyan incorporated the thriving business as Aideyan Bookshop Limited, under the Companies Decree 1968, on August 7, 1974. The new, incorporated bookshop business had an initial complement of three (3) subscribing directors comprising (1) Samuel Aivinhenyutomwen as Managing Director; (2) Mr. B N Aideyan and (3) Miss O Aideyan (later Mrs. O Irabor)
(c) In the course of doing business over the years, Mr. S.A. Aideyan bought shares and debentures in many blue chip companies such as Berger Paints plc; Beta Glass plc (formerly Delta Glass plc); BOC Gases plc; Cadbury Nigeria plc; Dunlop Nigeria plc; Carnaud Metalbox plc; Costain (West Africa) plc; Daily Times plc; CFAO Nigeria plc; Evans Brothers Nigeria Publishers; Famad plc (formerly Bata Nigeria plc); John Holt Nigeria plc; Oando plc (merger of Agip Nigeria plc and Unipetrol Nigeria plc); Okitipupa Oilpalm plc; Okomu Oilpalm plc; Thomas Wyatt Nigeria plc; Patterson Zochonis Nigeria plc; UACN Poly Products plc; Unilever plc (formerly Lever Brothers Nigeria plc); Presco plc, Seven Up Nigeria plc; United Bank of Africa Plc; United Nigeria Textiles Limited plc; Nigeria Tobacco Company; University Press plc; Savannah Bank of Nigeria plc etc.
He held these shares and debentures for himself, his company, Aideyan Bookshop Limited and his son, Mr. E Aideyan, who lives abroad, in three (3) different portfolios managed by Foresight Securities and Investments Limited.
These portfolios comprises those held in the names of Aideyan Bookshop Limited, a corporate being, worth over N1Bn; Mr. S. A. Aideyan (the Founder, Chairman and Managing Director of the bookshop chain, worth over N800 million and Mr. E Aideyan, the son of the Founder based in the United State of America, worth over N900 million in shares and stocks.
(d) In the aftermath of the death of Pa S. A. Aideyan (the Founder, Chairman and Managing Director of Aideyan Bookshop Limited), on August 13, 2011, one Mr. Amadin Aideyan (the 16th child of Pa Aideyan), effectively usurped the power vested in the Managing Director and turned the company’s coffers into his Automated Telling Machine (ATM) as he made a frontal attack on the company’s accounts held with First Bank plc. Amadin Aideyan who was delegated to work with the ageing Founder, took advantage of Pa Aideyan’s visual impairment that later snowballed into total blindness that rendered him incapable of taking or executing crucial and critical decisions and other actions like signing cheques, withdrawals, statements etc. when he was alive.
With the sole responsibility of overseeing both the company’s and Pa Aideyan’s personal bank transactions, among other functions, Amadin took advantage of being the one vested with performing those duties until a proper reconstitution of the bookshop is Board of Directors that had lost Mr. B Aideyan to the cold hands death in 2003 and later Pa Aideyan, himself in 2011. Since then and now, the said Amadin has maximised and utilised the executive powers that devolved on him as a stop-gap measure, to shut out his other siblings in the Aideyan Household for his personal benefit. It is in order to shore up these temporary powers that he (Amadin) appropriated the finances of both the bookshop company and his father’s account and the shares/stocks of Mr. E Aideyan. In the process he threw overboard all moral, legal and conventional standards, without leaving any modicum of self-respect or for that of others.
(e) A major aspect of Amadin Aideyan’s relentless war to ascribe the ownership of Aideyan Bookshop Limited and other associated assets (but less the liabilities) to himself, is his trademark attitude of leaving no grey arrears between the finances of late Pa Samuel Aideyan and that of the company, Aideyan Bookshop Limited, in the assault he made against the various accounts held with First Bank plc.
(f) It is a matter of fact that Amadin, as the self-imposed “Managing Director” of Aideyan Bookshop Limited and his prized possession of late Pa Samuel Aideyan’s cheque books, share certificates (including those of the bookshop and Mr. E Aideyan) and other financial instruments, laid a siege on the bank by withdrawing humongous sums of money from the Founders accounts into new ones opened by him for extra-legal purposes, without any due approval by the Corporate Affairs Commission-recognised Board of Directors or any other organ duly-recognised and mandated by the company’s extant Articles and Memorandum of Association, even when the old man was alive but now blind.
Rather, he ruled with a plethora of forged documents!
Evidence exists and abounds that on February 16, 2011, a Lagos based stock-broking firm, Foresight Securities and Investment Limited, paid the sum of N9,510,981.56 (Nine Million, Five Hundred and Ten Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eight-One Naira, Fifty Six Kobo Only) into Pa Samuel A. Aideyan’s First Bank Account No 1102010000444 and on February 22, 2011 another sum of N4,046,425.44 (Four Million, Forty-Six Thousand, Four Hundred and Twenty-Five Naira, Forty-Four Kobo only), was paid into the same account, totalling N13,557,407.00.
Three Days after this last payment (i.e February 25, 2011), Amadin withdrew the sum of N13.5 million from the same First Bank Account No 1102010000444, which he confessed to so do during interrogation at the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), following his arrest in April 2016. He (Amadin) also confessed to not remembering what he actually expended the huge sum and others too numerous to list out here, for. Infact, he boasts openly, in Benin City, Edo State that he has the EFCC in his pockets and have no reason to be afraid of being rearrested. It is assumed that the issue (among others), is still within the purview of the PH Zonal Office of the EFCC. Proper enquiry and investigation will unearth wanton acts of withdrawals from the various First Bank accounts held by Pa Aideyan, before his death such as (1) 1102010000444 (2) 1102010001122 (3) 1103010000355 (4) 11020110019900 and (4) 1102010019911.
Amadin, acting with possible insider connivance , opened new ones with the self-same First Bank viz: (a) 2000697578 (b) 2000697585 (c) 2000681696 (d) 2000682325 (e) 3001513489, and (f) 2003825259, with him as the sole signatory. Amadin emptied the finances in the old accounts of the Founder, Pa S. A. Aideyan and that of Aideyan Bookshop Limited into the escrow accounts he, surreptitiously, opened for the self-serving purposes.
It is significant to point out that Amadin Aideyan, cleverly, left meagre balances of N10,628.41; N498.47; N12,513.83; N151,743.97 and N9,658.75 respectively, in his father’s accounts he was depleting.
It is no gainsaying the fact that Amadin Aideyan’s acts of oppression, repression, flagrant impunity and consolidated animus, have inflicted incalculable damage on the family’s common patrimony and by extension, the Nigerian economy, considering the avalanche of available incriminating indices and evidences, in his destruction of Aideyan Bookshop Limited and raping its tills and appropriating Pa Aideyan’s enduring legacy.
• APPEAL FOR JUSTICE AND RESTITUTION
We implore the Chairman to look critically and clinically into this extant case of Amadin Aideyan’s calculated brigandage and rampage against the collectively-held Pa S.A. Aideyan’s 60 year-old legacy and those who insist on due process in the management of the iconic bookshop chain for future generations.
We believe that it is imperative on the EFCC, as the legally-endowed government agency, to check abuses of fairness and equity in the economic and financial spheres in Nigeria, we believe that this will enable the necessary restitutions, restorations and reparations to assuage the hurt sensibilities of those whose pedigrees, persons and cherished investments and inheritances have been battered and balkanised by the “Bull-In-The –Chain-Shop” antics and tactics of Amadin Aideyan and his cohorts to corner what belongs to the commonwealth.
We solicit the complete and comprehensive reversal of the monumental injustice and deprivation perpetrated by Amadin Aideyan, especially the illegal winding-up and sale of the goods of Aideyan Bookshop Limited and the depletion of the company accounts for his sole use. This is within the reality that the business was set up and run in consonance with the relevant laws and legal instruments such as the Articles and Memorandum of Association and other relevant statutes.
We appeal to you, sir, to use your exalted office to order an independent due diligence on the subsisting ownership structure and financial transaction profile of Aideyan Bookshop Limited. It will also be proper to ascertain whether Amadin Aideyan was right in, forcefully, taking over the bookshop firm and using unconcealed guile to ease Mrs O Irabor (nee Aideyan), the only surviving director of the firm, out of the legal management and meetings to which Amadin Aideyan, himself, is /was not legally-allowed to perform and attend, respectively. In fact, Amadin has, in the meantime, continued to balkanise, strip and sell property, land and movable possessions of Pa S. A. Aideyan and Aideyan Bookshop Limited to the detriment of the 25 other children of the bookshop Founder, at give-away or “promo” prices to maintain his profligate lifestyle.
Mr. Chairman, sir, many of us (the children of late Pa Samuel Aivinhenyutomwen Aideyan), had lost hope of the truth, in this matter, ever being uncovered due to the thick spool of falsehood, forgery and bile with which Amadin Aideyan clothed his gunboat take-over of Aideyan Bookshop Limited and subsequent illegal actions, until you were appointed as the acting Chairman of the EFCC. We believe you will give us justice.
In so doing, you will create an enduring legacy of upholding the truth and due process in this matter.
I thank you on behalf of my family and pray that the Almighty God will continue to grant you the wisdom of Solomon, as you perform your arduous task of steering and superintending the EFCC to greater heights.