SALE OF OMOLUABI MORTGAGE TO CITI TRUST & ADEKUNLE ADEWOLE: CIVIL SOCIETY GROUP THREATENS TO DRAG EX-GOVERNOR OYETOLA TO EFCC

SALE OF OMOLUABI MORTGAGE TO CITI TRUST & ADEKUNLE ADEWOLE: CIVIL SOCIETY GROUP THREATENS TO DRAG EX-GOVERNOR OYETOLA TO EFCC

An Osun based civil society coalition, Psun Transparency Alliance has threatened to drag former Governor Gboyega Oyetola to the anti-graft agencies over an alleged shady sale of the state owned Omoluabi Mortgage firm to Citi Trust and one Adekunle Adewole.

In a statement signed by its Convener, Lanre Adebola, the group raised salient questions for which it demanded answers directly from Mr Oyetola.

The statement reads as follows:

“On a daily basis, many revealtions reflect the depth of damage Mr Oyetola’s four year tenure wrought on Osun state.

“Why did Oyetola sell the Osun Omoluabi Mortgage firm to Citi Trust?

“Who are the owners of Citi Trust? Who is Citi Trust fronting for ?

“Why did Mr Oyetola sell another part of State shares to Mr Adekunle Adewole?

“Who is Mr Adekunle Adewole representing or fronting for?

“Former Governor Oyetola is challenged to answer these questions. The Minister of Blue Economy should explain it to Osun people of Osun.

“If he fails to explain to the public, our civil society coalition will drag the Minister to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC)

“In 1993, Osun did the unthinkable. It was only two years after it was carved out of Oyo state yet, it was able to raise hopes about the future. That was what the decision to incorporate a financial company, the Osun Building Society Limited, clearly portrayed.

“The company was established to provide mortgage banking services, mortgage financing, real estate construction financing and general financial services. It was a bold and futuristic step, and interestingly, was taken under the administration of the first Executive Governor of Osun State, late Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke. That kick-started a journey to not just financial identity for the state but also a strategic investment for the benefits of all.

“But all of that is gone now and the reason for this is in a 2019 deal that puts the controlling shares of the state in the financial company in jeopardy. The administration of Gboyega Oyetola sold-off a significant amount of shares of the state in the financial company to Citytrust Financial Service, leaving the private firm with majority stake.

“This brought about a lot of changes. From the name, Omoluabi Mortgage Bank to LivingTrust Mortgage Bank, to the organizational structure, almost everything was tilted to the side of the supposed private investors.

“And you know what, there is no one who can say exactly what was the worth of Osun shares in Omoluabi Mortgage Bank that was traded off and what happened to the money.

“There is no way one can turn away from the question on the proceeds of the share sale especially in the light of the revelation of a former commissioner of finance under the Rauf Aregbesola administration. In a piece sometime in 2021, Dr. Wale Bolorunduro disclosed that the Aregbesola administration had injected “N2 billion to retain that bank through structured leverage capitalization and before Aregbesola left office, the total assets of that bank was over N5 billion. I guess Oyetola’s government has sold some shareholding, which could be worth N2 billion in that bank now.”

“At least, Osun people have every right to know what happened to their investment in the financial company, more so, when Dr. Bolorunduro noted that the fund injected into Omoluabi Mortgage Bank by the Aregbesola administration was borrowed. That is what accountability is all about.

“But there is something even more troubling in the whole arrangement. The register of shareholders indicated that while CityTrust Holding Plc had a stake of 40.82% in LivingTrust Mortgage Bank, the Osun State Government and the Osun State Local Government hold 18.03% and 21.80% stakes respectively. Adekunle Adewole, who recently resigned as a Managing Director in the company, had a stake of 7.39% and others have a combined stake of 11.96% in the financial company.

“So, the question that must linger in the minds of every conscious Osun citizen is who sold the stake held by Mr. Adekunle Adewole to him? This question is necessary considering the leverage that the stake attributed to him and those of others would have for the state, especially in terms of control. Take, for instance, between 2019 and now, the CityTrust Holding Plc had produced two Managing Directors for the financial company whereas, Osun has only been able to produce a chairman once, which was under Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola.

“Although, those who did this tried to persuade concerns that it is in Osun’s best interest but that is not what is happening. It is unimaginable that a venture that was wholly owned by the Osun state in the beginning has been manipulated in favour of a private firm and individuals without the knowledge of the real owner of the asset, which is the Osun people.

“Unless we want to continue to lie to ourselves, the glaring reality as far as the LivingTrust Mortgage Bank is concerned, is that Osun people have been shortchanged. The vision, the purpose, resources and sweat that went into the creation of the financial company over 31 years ago has been defeated, and the most painful things here is that, it may not be possible to reverse it

“Perhaps it will not be too late for those who traded off Osun’s significant control in the Omoluabi Mortgage Bank to come clean on what transpired and if possible, let the people know what happened to the money realized from it. While this may not be enough to salvage the already done damage, at least, Osun should get something from a terrible deal that will reverberate for a very long time.

“We demand explanations failing which we will file a petition for action at the EFCC”, the group declared.

Signed:
Lanre Adebola,
Convener,
Osun Transparency Alliance
April 19th, 2024