Exclusive: Cellulant Chairman Not Saying The Truth.......The Board And Investors Are Hiding Something Serious.


There are new twists to the crisis rocking Cellulant Nigeria Ltd that led to the resignation of its co-founder and the termination of over 35 staffs of the company recently as some affected staff have accused the chairman Dr Sam Kiruthu and the chief compliance officer, Mr Solomon Abiakalam of doing everything to take over the successful Nigerian business for an unknown group and discredit the founders.

Cellulant has recently sacked over 35 staff in a manner that raises concerns of its real intentions. Interacting with the affected staffs, they rejected the justification provided by the memo signed by the media team of Cellulant and signed by the chairman stating that it appears they are hiding something and working quickly to cover it up using the chief compliance officer, Mr Solomon Abiakalam as the one to deliver this ploy. 

In its response to our enquiry in an earlier report, Cellulant Media Team had claimed that only 14 staff were sacked on grounds of some impropriety and that others resigned willingly. The affected staff when contacted by our reporter alleged that the response from Cellulant is a blatant lie. They were of the opinion that the response of Cellulant should be thoroughly investigated. 

According to an internal memo sighted by our reporter and dated 2nd of September 2020 which informs the suspension of some staffs from work pending the conclusion of a forensic audit into the Agrikore marketplace and the alleged suspicious activity in staff account. And that the suspension doesn’t constitute any disciplinary action and does not imply any assumption that the staffs are guilty of any misconduct.

It was with surprise after 2 weeks that a good number of staffs were served termination letter dated 15th of September,2020 without evidence of any wrongdoing, even when the said the forensic investigation is yet to be concluded. This according to the affected staff is the suspicion of a ploy being hatched by the chairman and the chief compliance officer.

In addition, they were asked to submit their laptops so that the hard disc can be imaged by the purported auditors without the presence of the staff in question, therefore, exposing Cellulant to a lot of data protection breaches and planting of evidence to suit whatever narrative they so desperately want to have.

This is obvious when you look at the dates of the letters of suspension and the date of the termination even when the audit hasn’t been completed and the report of culpability hasn’t been shown as evidence to these 35 staff.

Some of the affected staffs who spoke with a reporter and pleaded to be anonymous said, “someone is using the chief compliance officer, Mr Solomon Abiakalam to paint the co-founder and people connected to him as lacking in integrity to take over the business and discredit Mr. Bolaji for all his hard work''.

Another staff said ''Cellulant has always been in the news for good but now it is going downhill because the board wants to forcefully take over. Our MD is known in the industry as a man of integrity and the Agrikore business is the largest portfolio in the groups business. If there are control issues, the person in charge of setting up those controls which is Mr Solomon should have also stepped down. How can you claim customers did not lose money but internally you say there is a fraud of $1.3m? How can you invite staff members for investigation in the absence of HR. Threatening staff that he doesn't want them to go to prison and he's not after them. So who is he after?

This crisis which is now putting at risk critical need of Nigeria because of the arbitrary shutdown of the Agrikore platform and the funds of its various investors then should be attracting the attention of the relevant regulatory and oversight agencies of government.