Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has remained mute to the insider trading allegations made against Flutterwave co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Olugbenga Agboola.
Ripples Nigeria had reported that Agboola was accused of compelling his employees holding Flutterwave stock to sell to his investment company at a price cheaper than the market value.
It was stated that Flutterwave allegedly encouraged its workers on March 1, 2021, to take advantage of a share purchase by selling at a price of $3.50 per share, against the actual market value of $20.
However, weeks later, Flutterwave announced a raise of $170 million from investors, with its market share value at $20 – which means Agboola and the company short-changed the employees.
Agboola was also accused of creating a false identity, Greg Agboola, to deceive his fellow co-founders, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and Adeleke Adekoya, in the sharing of the company’s stake.
The CEO and Aboyejo were reportedly expected to share 62.5% control of Flutterwave, while Adekoya’s portion was 37.5% – it was gathered that Agboola informed his co-founders that Greg Agboola would also take up 10%, and this stake will be taken out of Aboyeji and Adekoya.
Agboola was said to have also refused to transfer about 40,000 shares to a former employee who had stock option contract with Flutterwave, leading to an ongoing court battle.
Amid these piling allegations against Agboola and Flutterwave, Ripples Nigeria enquiry to SEC regarding the insider trading accusations have gone unanswered or acknowledged by the capital market regulator.
While the Nigerian SEC is tongue-tied to the allegations and has turned a blind eye, note that the U.S SEC had investigated Flutterwave’s activities in 2017. Aboyeji, on Wednesday, had confirmed the investigation occurred, but was closed in 2017, stating that the company was cleared – however, the U.S SEC neither denied nor confirmed if the probe was still on.
Meanwhile, the stock market authority, Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), told Ripples Nigeria that only the Nigerian SEC can address the stock manipulation allegations against the Fintech unicorn and its CEO, “please note that Flutterwave is not listed on the floor of the NGX, you may extend this to the Securities and Exchange Commission”, NGX said.
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