POLICE INVESTIGATION REVEALS HOW TUNDE AYENI SOLD HIS SHARES IN OCEAN MARINES TO OKUNBO

Tunde Ayeni

Tunde Ayeni

POLICE investigation into the allegations of stealing and criminal diversion of company funds levelled against billionaire businessman, Capt. Idahosa Wells-Okunbo, by a former Chairman of Skye Bank Plc, Mr Tunde Ayeni, has indicated that the accusations are false.

The police in their investigation report absolved Wells-Okunbo of wrongdoing, noting that Ayeni sold his shares in Ocean Marine Solutions Ltd. to the businessman for N2bn.

Ayeni had claimed in his petition through his lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, that he sold his shares at the OMS under duress while also accusing Wells-Okunbo of stealing and criminally diverting company funds

The police explained that upon receiving Ayeni’s petition on January 7, 2021, Wells-Okunbo volunteered a statement under caution and denied all the allegations levelled against him.

He also presented documentary evidence to support his claims and transactions that took place between him and Ayeni.

The report said the documents were scrutinised and forensically investigated and were found to be genuine and they were all endorsed by the parties to the transactions.

According to the investigation report dated March 16, 2021, signed by the Head, IGP Monitoring Unit, Force Headquarters, A. Ellemen, during the investigations, all the requisite documents were copied and distributed by the parties to all stakeholders and relevant agencies, and thereafter, invited Ayeni for his statements.

The investigation established that both men had been friends since 2003, which led to a lot of business relationships, one of which was Ocean Marine Security Ltd, which later rebranded as Ocean Marine Solutions Ltd.

Tracing the ownership structure of the company, the detectives found that Ocean Marine Solutions Ltd., then, had as shareholders Wells-Okunbo (46 per cent); Ayeni (35 per cent); Garth Dooley (14 per cent) and retired Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, who originally had five per cent, which was subsequently re-acquired by Wells-Okunbo and Ayeni, who also became chairman and vice-chairman, respectively.

The report said, “That the complainant, Dr Tunde Ayeni, voluntarily and legally transferred his shares and that of his wife from Ocean Marine Solutions Ltd. and its subsidiaries to Capt. Idahosa Wells-Okunbo in consideration of the total sum of N2bn, which the complainant (Ayeni) acknowledged receipt of same and resigned his membership from the board of OMS and its subsidiaries.

“That the allegations of stealing and criminal diversion of company funds as alleged by the complainant, Dr Tunde Ayeni, against the suspect, Captain Idahosa Wells-Okunbo could not be established as there was documentary evidence provided by the suspect – Captain Idahosa Wells-Okunbo, which clearly shows that Capt. Okunbo, has lawfully acquired Dr Tunde Ayeni’s interest in Ocean Marine Solutions Limited for a valuable consideration of N2 bn.

“Also, the allegation of criminal diversion of company funds is baseless, malicious and false as it hasn’t been proven by the complainant.”

The report has since been forwarded to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice for authentication and further action

Wells-Okunbo’s counsel, Augustine Alegeh, SAN, has also written to the AGF, asking him to notify the EFCC of the outcome of the police investigation “so that the matter can be put to rest and treated as closed.”

Copyright PUNCH.

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