The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, has denied owing anybody in Gotel Communications Limited.
In a statement by his media aide, Paul Ibe, Atiku said it had come to his notice that some persons purporting to be expatriate staff of Gotel Communications Limited, founded by him had caused to be published media reports suggesting that they were owed salaries. He stated that nothing could be further from the truth.
The statement reads, “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 adhoc 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.”