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TRANSCORP SUSPENDS GMD, 2 OTHERS

By NBF NEWS
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e Board of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria  (Transcorp) plc, said yesterday that  it had suspended  its  embattled Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Tom Iseghohi, after its meeting of May 28, 2009.

A statement issued by the organisation said the company secretary, Mohammed Buba and Deputy General Manager, Mike Okoli, are also to proceed on indefinite suspension  pending the determination of the suit instituted against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

It said “the move is to ensure the smooth running of the day-to-day operations of the company”.

The board had, in an earlier meeting, named Nick Okoro, the General Manager, Business Development, as the Interim Chief Executive Officer of the company.

It would be recalled that the trio were picked up by the operatives of the State Security Service where they were detained for over three weeks prompting threats of court action on the part of the board if they were not charged to court.

The SSS, which said it was investigating fraudulent diversion of funds  totalling N15 billion on the part of the suspects  eventually handed them over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) who filed a 32-count charge against the suspects.

The development may also have led to the revocation of the sale of 51 percent   of Federal Government's shares in Nitel, until now,  owned by Transcorp.

In revoking the ownership, the Minister of State for Information and Communication, Alhaji Ikra Bilbis said Transcorp breached the Shares Sales Purchase Agreement (SSPA) it signed with the government. He listed the breaches as follows:

Exiting of British Telecommunications (BT) as the technical operator, which is condition precedent in the SSPA; failure of Transcorp to inject the sum of N8.9billion cash into NITEL within 100 days of its takeover to address the immediate liquidity problem facing NITEL;failure to pay interconnectivity debt totaling about N17billion, inability to pay staff salaries in the past 11 months, failure of Transcorp to maintain NITEL/MTEL as a going concern, resulting in complete loss of market share from 15 per cent to 0.03 percent.

In view of the breaches, he said, “council therefore agreed that Transcorp has vitiated and voided the contract in its entirety.