Nigeria news : Atiku speaks on owing some foreign workers, A former Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar on Thursday reacted to reports that he was owing some foreign workers recruited for his media company, GOTEL.
Atiku explained that money meant for the affected staff members was given to their recruiter, one John Chiahemen.
In a statement signed by his Media Office titled: “Nothing can be further from the truth,” the former Vice President claimed that Chiahemen disappeared with the money, adding that the matter has been reported to the police.
The statement reads: “For the avoidance of doubt, the funds dedicated to the payment of salaries of staff, both local and expatriates that were engaged by Chiamehen himself were made available to him. All those concerned are advised to contact Mr. Chiamehen accordingly.
“To retool its operations, Gotel had in 2013 hired one Mr. John Chiahemen to lead the planning, design, build-out and rollout of TV Gotel Africa to be based in Abuja.
“To this end, Chiamehen was given a free hand by the founder and board of the company to run the affairs of Gotel.
“Requisite resources, as requested by Chiamehen were made available. On his own part, Chiamehen had committed to a revenue profile of N150 million, among others.
“But by 2016, there were concerns that the Chiamehen management was only long in promises and short in performance, prompting the then board to empanel an ad hoc visitation committee to examine the state of the company. The findings of that committee were damning.
“Consequently, the committee recommended the need for a comprehensive audit of the company. The audit revealed serious fiduciary infractions by the Chiamehen led management.
“Further to the audit report, a board meeting was convened to consider the auditor’s report. However, before that meeting, Mr. John Chiamehen bolted and has refused to make himself available to account for the huge resources put in his charge.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the funds dedicated to the payment of salaries of staff, both local and expatriates that were engaged by Chiamehen himself were made available to him. All those concerned are advised to contact Mr. Chiamehen accordingly.
“On the 14th of December 2016, a formal petition on alleged breach of trust, fraud and misappropriation of funds against the former managing director/CEO was filed at the FCIID (Interpol) for investigation.
“Mr. Chiamehen is encouraged to make himself available to give account of all monies put in his charge during his tenure as MD/CEO of Gotel”.
The foreign workers who were recruited from CNN, NPR, CNBC and other reputable networks between 2014 and 2015 accused Atiku of breaching a year’s contract they had with GOTEL as consultants. They claimed they are owed several months of salaries, running into thousands of dollars.