Important briefs given to a law firm owned by Nigerian businessman and former chairman of defunct Skye Bank, Tunde Ayeni, were diverted to Airbridge chambers owned a female lawyer in Abuja identified as Adaobi Alagwu, SaharaReporters has gathered.
According to a former lawyer in the law firm, the businessman handed important briefs and clients to Adaobi to handle despite being a young lawyer all in a bid to please her.
SaharaReporters had reported that Ayeni is currently enmeshed in a paternity mess.
He is alleged to have fathered a child, a baby girl, with Adaobi, a claim he has blatantly refused to accept.
The female lawyer was a classmate of the businessman’s daughter.
It was learnt that after SaharaReporters exposed the scandal, so many Nigerians including the Olujumu of Ijumu Kingdom and Chairman, Ijumu LGA Traditional Council of Kogi State, Oba Williams Olusegun Ayeni, reached out to Ayeni, urging him to thread carefully and chiding him about his poor judgement in the whole saga.
“Ayeni broke unspoken gentleman code when he snatched Adaobi from his long time bosom friend, Greg Uanseru, a billionaire businessman, who plays big in the oil and gas sector,” the ex-worker told SaharaReporters.
“This is a lady he flaunted openly with no regard for his family and friends then. The next building beside our office, No 36, Birao Street, Wuse 2, back of AP Plaza, off Adetokunbo Ademola Street in Abuja was gifted to this lady to set up her chamber, so he can be much closer to the lady.
“What pained most of us was that clients who approached the law firm were diverted to Adaobi’s chamber which was next building to ours. I was really involved in the brief we had with Funds and Electronic Transfer Solutions (Fets), one of the leading licensed mobile money operators but like you reported earlier, this man gave it to this girl to handle just because he had an affair with her. We all tried to talk him but he refused. We talking are about multi-million naira contracts here.
“Most of his clients were introduced to Adaobi; he asked them to be giving her briefs. Some of us are not surprised about what’s happening. Ayeni would not even allow any other man approached the lady then. He even got her security details so he could know all her movement.”
He added, “The Olujumu of Ijumu Kingdom and Chairman, Ijumu LGA Traditional Council of Kogi State, Oba Williams Olusegun Ayeni since the story broke has reached out to Ayeni chiding him about his poor judgement in dating a 24-year old at the expense of his family and urging him to thread carefully to avoid further damage to his person and reputation in the media”.
“Since the story broke, Adaobi has gone off social media, hardly goes to the office anymore and has police vans stationed at the building. This is a lady he started dating since she was 24 in the full glare of everyone and shouts down anyone who tries to advise him about it.
“The problem is his family. The scandal has really embarrassed them. Shameful and painful, this whole saga has been for his wife and immediate family.
“We warned him against the lady but he didn’t listen, Adaobi is very loose and has been with a lot of other big men. She’s very wicked, even to her workers. Tunde didn’t listen to us. You won’t believe he blocked his family from coming to Abuja just so he could be with this lady?”
Speaking also to SaharaReporters, a relative of the female lawyer said her life had been under threat since the scandal was reported.
He said Adaobi had stopped going to office to attend to clients while all her social media accounts had been deactivated.
“Ayeni’s people have resorted to threats in a bid to have their way, thinking it was the lady giving SaharaReporters’ story. They asked her to be mute or have herself to be blamed. They have been calling her friends and relatives to warn her as well,” he told SaharaReporters on Friday.
“She has abandoned her office now but she had vowed to hold on to the house for her kids. Adaobi never wanted to date Tunde in the first place. She was attending law school in Abuja with his daughter. His daughter was supposed to stay in his house but he transferred her to Lagos so that Adaobi could live with him. The Range Rover was even given to her without her asking for it.
“But because he is part of Atiku Abubakar’s campaign, he is trying to protect his image so that the scandal will not force the campaign organisation to push him away.
“The lady was driving a G-wagon and rocking her best life before she met him. Now, she can’t go to office again. To even set her up, he forced briefs from his law firm on her. Contrary to the claim that she wanted to hold him down with this pregnancy, she has a much older son who she’s been taking care of too.
“The lady told us that she has another relationship but she wants Tunde to be a better person and he’s been harassing her and her friends to keep things quiet. That Tunde is more serious with his various companies.
“Hope you are aware he was once a partner of Late Hosa Okunbor and when the man died, Tunde tried to use EFCC to freeze the assets away from the kids but the timely intervention of some big men including the Emir Of Kazaure helped to sort it?
“After he failed, he started positioning with Atiku’s campaign. He has a track record of ruining his businesses and should Atiku win, he’ll be involved in Nigeria’s economy and it’ll be disaster.”
Meanwhile, Ayeni has again denied being the father of the lawyer’s baby.
Issuing a disclaimer via a certain Biola Ojelade, the businessman said there was no nexus between him and the lady.
“This is an individual known to be a true family man, always building and living an unblemished and exemplary life over the years,” the statement read.
“Ayeni is a man who has nurtured a robust career in the banking industry and has established good name for himself and for his precious family too.
“An attempt to drag Ayeni’s name in the mud will simply be an effort in futility. Ayeni, a very reticent, humble and highly disciplined character, has never entertained any extra marital affairs in his life, neither has he engaged in any abortion with Adaobi Alagwu or anyone else.
“In addition, there is no proof to establish paternity of any child or children to him outside wedlock. To put the record straight, Ayeni is a developer of a very significant progress in the society, a purpose-driven entrepreneur who is pushing the frontier of business, taking risks, trying new things.
“Ayeni is a real goal getter who has no time for frivolity or any unproductive venture. Therefore, no amount of distraction from Sahara Reporters and its ilk will pull him down or ruin his rising and intimidating profile which has impacted the society in many positive ways.”
A source familiar with the duo’s relationship had earlier confirmed Ayeni as the father of the baby.
Recently, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission withdrew the N25.4billion corruption case it filed against Ayeni; and the Managing Director of defunct Skye Bank, Timothy Oguntayo, after entering into a secret settlement with the businessmen that might have involved the forfeiture of N15billion in cash and assets.
The EFCC under the leadership of Ibrahim Magu, had on March 7, 2019 arraigned him, Oguntayo and two other companies before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court, Abuja on 10 charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of N25.4bn.
One of the counts had read, “That you, Tunde Ayeni, whilst being the Chairman, Board of Directors of the defunct Skye Bank Plc, between the 1st of January, 2014 and 31st December, 2014 at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did commit an offence, to wit: converting the aggregate sum of N17,415,080,000 taken in cash from defunct Skye Bank Plc Suspense Account and delivered to you by the staff of the defunct Skye Bank Plc, which money you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: fraud and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 15(2)(b) and (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended).”
However, the final amount of money Ayeni and his co-defendant reportedly returned was never made public, unlike other cases involving bank executives.