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First Bank keeps mute on Otedola, Hassan-Odukale leadership chaos, as registrar reacts

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It’s been over 48 hours since Ripples Nigeria disclosed that Tunde Hassan-Odukale isn’t the majority shareholder as First Bank Nigeria (FBN) Holdings made their investors believe.

There had been confusion as to which investor, Femi Otedola or Hassan-Odukale had the largest control over FBN Holdings since the former acquired 5.07 percent stake in H2 2021.

As at the time of Otedola share acquisition, Firat Bank had stated that it doesn’t have a shareholder with 5 percent and above stake, a statement that was later discovered to be untrue.

Following Otedola’s announcement as the majority stakeholder, First Bank backtracked, announcing that Hassan-Odukale had more shares of 5.36 percent, higher than that of the oil investor.

But in a recent reaction to Ripples Nigeria report, the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) revealed that the stake of Leadway Pensure, ascribed to Hassan-Odukale, doesn’t belong to him, but the pensioners of the PFA.

This created a setback for Hassan-Odukale, who was serving as the chairman of FBN Holdings, as PENCOM’s statement meant his position belonged to Otedola, as most the majority shareholder becomes the chairman of a company in Nigeria; although, subject to other shareholders approval.

READ ALSO: CBN gives three reasons for sacking all First Bank, FBN Holdings board members

FBN Holdings, Meristem reaction

Following PENCOM’s revelation, Ripples Nigeria reached out to FBN Holdings regarding the new development, but the lender has remained silent to the enquiry.

However, in a response to this publication’s enquiry on Saturday, Meristem, which is FBN Registrars, said, “we will revert with feedback accordingly,” Mojisola Onifade, the Customer Service Representative wrote back.

But in a change of course, on Monday, Onifade responded to a reminder, stating, “Please be informed that you will be required to approach First bank or PENCOM for further information on your request.”

Note that Meristem has been appointed the trading registrar of First Bank, hence, its knowledge about the number of shareholders and the value of their investment, which put the firm in a position to have a better understanding of the majority shareholder issue.

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