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Secrets Reporters

Mr Michael Diden aka Ejele who currently represents Warri North in the Delta State House of Assembly means so many things to various persons. To some, he’s an evangelist of a church owned by him; to others, he’s a philanthropist and a politician while many sees him as sportsman who chairs a football club, but to men of conscience, he’s a crook from the womb.

None of the appellation above is wrong as months of digging deep into his financial transactions by Secrets Reporters team uncovered cans of worm that stinks of corrupt practices. Not many know that he owns a thriving bank in Nigeria, and those who know do not know that the bank is a conduit pipe for financial crime.

This report factually expose some unabated illicit operations and consistent overbearing influence on managerial functions by both chairman and promoter, Mr Micheal Diden over the bank known as Megapraise Microfinance Bank, Effurun, Warrin in Delta State as well as the unlawful displacement of the MD from office without due regard to labour law and with defiant to code of conduct for banking industry.

In their quest to cover up numerous underground transactions, Ejele and his wife, Mary Diden employed a known manipulator and fraudster whose false report against the bank bought over the owner’s conscience. As at the time of this report the MD has been displaced while the new trusted cronies’ takes sway.

The Board Chairman Move

When it was discovered that the professionalism of the seating MD was focused on prudency and accountability the following scenarios plays out.

On 20th April, 2015 the chairman, Mrs. Mary Diden brought in Mr. Praise Jirie Akokotu as Board of Director Appointee (BA) to represent certain interest of Directors and the Board Chairman in particular. He was introduced on a day the MD was away on official assignment at Asaba. She held meeting with other staff on behalf of the MD after which called to inform the MD of the new development and demanded for cooperation.

Next day being 21/04/2015 at work, the Board Appointee (BA) (Mr. Praise Jirie Akokotu) served the MD a hand-written memo dated 21/04/2015 demanding for every books of accounts/records of the bank including external and internal correspondences which he got with maximum cooperation from all staff. He proclaimed his mission among other things was to examined the bank operations and report back to the owners.

Trouble begins when on May 13th, 2015 surprisingly, the Chairman for the first time queried the MD directly over an SMS alert not received by her when she withdrew cash from her personal account via correspondence Ecobank. The MD’s explanation to that memo was hinged on network challenges and an IT related issues with apology but was not accepted.

The orchestrated Suspension of the MD

Subsequently, on June 12th, 2015 a memo sighting non satisfaction to query on SMS alert was served on the MD personally delivered by the BA single handedly signed by the chairman directing the MD to proceed on an immediate two weeks suspension without pay and to resume work precisely on Wednesday July 1st, 2015. Similarly, a separate memo instructing the head of banking operations Mr. George Sunny Ibem to take over in acting capacity. The whole scenario was like a script playing out step by step. The action of the chairman kept the entire management and staff of the bank in disarray.

The MD proceeded on suspension and resumed as directed on July 1st, 2015 yet was not allowed to take over the seat of Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer instead the HOP turns acting MD was asked in a fresh memo signed by the same Chairman addressed to Mr. George Sunny Ibem to continue indefinitely in the acting capacity. The action of the director puts the MD thinking as he was displaced from his position and office suddenly which is against the CBN prudential guidelines on microfinance banks operations as well as the code of conduct for banking industry in Nigeria.

The MD despite the humiliation in an uncomfortable circumstances continue working from junior officers desk in parallel with the acting MD a situation that set caused acrimony in the bank as regards operational directives. The MD persevere coming to work but could not understand he was made roaming round the office without personal desk and yet could no longer give instruction to staff as management of the bank day to day activities now rested on the acting MD and Board Appointee till date.

After the orchestrated and undeserved two weeks suspension, the MD has not been paid salary from June, 2015 to date except for July, 2015 in which only 90% of his salary was paid without explanation.

While the MD was been displaced, the acting MD with barely two years of banking experience performs the roles and responsibilities of MD/CEO with impunity under tutelage of Board Appointee in collaboration with the chairman.

Few months into the Board Appointee resumption, generated a biased 29 page report which he tagged ‘’strategic turnaround plan’’ speedily endorsed by the chairman without given management time for evaluation and inputs before its implementation, a defiant to microfinance policy.

***Now the N100 million fraud takes place by Ejele and wife.

To be continued

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